Professional drivers must follow hours of service laws

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Professional drivers must follow hours of service laws

A recent out-of-state case related to the trucking industry serves as a valuable reminder. Hours of service regulations are not simply safety recommendations. They are the law. Following those trucking laws is crucial to the prevention of the deadly kind of truck accidents that claim too many lives here in Illinois and across the U.S. every year.

One trucking company was recently required by a court to pay its worker $276,000 after illegally firing him. The driver refused to work in certain weather/traffic conditions because doing so would have bled into illegal working hours. His company clearly didn’t value the law and safety the way it should have and was penalized for it.

But what are the basic hours of service rules for truckers?

  • Drivers who carry materials (not passengers) can drive for 11 hours in a row. They must get 10 hours off in-between shifts.
  • Drivers who carry passengers can work for 10 hours in a row. They must get eight hours off in-between shifts.
  • Both kinds of drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours within a 7-day work period. They cannot drive more than 70 hours within an 8-day period.

These are just a few of the hours regulations meant to prevent driver fatigue and related traffic accidents. Laws get more specific and, therefore, more complicated. That is why someone who has been injured because of a professional driver’s negligence needs to work with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in cases involving the trucking and overall commercial driving industry.