It is no secret that accidents involving trucks are some of the most devastating,
particularly due to their size and weight. Accidents are even more likely
to occur in cases where the truck driver is not well-rested. Unfortunately,
despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA)
strict hours of service regulations, which were designed to prevent truck
driver fatigue, many violate these rules and put the lives of others at
The Hours of Service Regulations
According to FMCSA regulations, commercial truck drivers cannot drive for
more than 11 hours at a time after they have had 10 consecutive off-duty
hours, and are prohibited from driving beyond the 14th hour after going on duty. Additionally, truck drivers cannot drive for
more than 60 hours over a span of 7 consecutive days.
Truck drivers are also required to have at least 34 consecutive hours of
off-duty time before they are allowed to begin a new 7 or 8-day period
of work. During the first 8 hours of a shift, they must take a 30-minute break.
As you can see, there are many regulations that are in place to keep truck
drivers from getting behind the wheel when they have not had enough rest.
However, many trucking companies do not strictly enforce these rules and,
in some cases, even encourage employees to break them.
Penalties for Violating the Hours of Service Rules
Both carriers and truck drivers can face steep penalties for violating
the hours of service rules. Some of the penalties include:
- The driver might be removed from service until enough off-duty time has
- Both local and state law enforcement officials could charge the truck driver a fine
- The FMCSA could also charge a civil penalty against the driver or carrier,
ranging from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation, depending on the severity of it
- The carrier’s safety rating might be downgraded if there appears
to be a pattern of violations taking place
- The carrier could potentially face criminal penalties if they or their
drivers are knowingly and willingly violating the hours of service regulations
Truck accidents frequently cause catastrophic injuries that can change a victim’s
life forever. If you were injured in a truck accident, it is critical
that you seek the legal assistance of an attorney with extensive experience
and knowledge in handling such cases.
Truck Accident Attorney in New Jersey
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our skilled and experienced legal
team in New Jersey is dedicated to representing truck injury victims.
Our firm has successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our
clients and an award-winning reputation. To obtain the compensation you
need and deserve during this difficult time, reach out to our firm as
soon as possible.
Get started on your case today and call Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney
at Law at
(201) 870-1909 to schedule your 100% risk-free initial consultation.