Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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What are Hours-of-Service Regulations?

Depending on certain factors, Nevada companies that employ truck drivers may be required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service Regulations. These rules establish limits on the work hours of drivers in order to reduce their fatigue, which can prevent accidents and improve drivers’ overall health.

The United States Department of Transportation, under which the FMCSA is housed, notes that there were over 300,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2012 alone. Nearly 4,000 fatalities resulted from these collisions, and 73,000 suffered a personal injury. Another DOT study reports that in 13 percent of serious crashes involving commercial trucks, the drivers of these vehicles were fatigued. 

To address the link between driver fatigue and commercial vehicle accidents, in 2013 the FMCSA altered its HOS Regulations. Among the most important changes in these rules was a revision to the maximum work week, which was reduced from 82 hours to 70 hours. Drivers must also take a break for 30 minutes in the initial eight hours of their shifts.

The HOS Regulations also mandate that drivers have at least 34 hours of rest prior to starting a work week. This break must include two nights of rest. This rule was created after a study revealed that only one night of rest results in greater sleepiness, a decreased ability to stay in lanes and increased lapses in attention.

The DOT estimates that these revised rules will prevent 19 fatalities, 560 injuries and 1,400 accidents per year, and will result in $280 million in savings annually.

John P. Aldrich
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