Truck drivers are required to follow the hours-of-service rules not only because it is the law but to also avoid driving fatigued. After operating a motor vehicle for 11 hours, truckers are required to remain off-duty for a 10-hour period of time before they can resume their role as a driver. Although the FMCSA is adamant about having drivers adhere to these rules and regulations, there are a few exceptions they will allow that permit a trucker to drive beyond the 11-hour time limit. If you are a truck driver and are wondering what these exceptions to the rule are, then read on below as we highlight a very important one you need to be aware of.
According to Section 395.1(b) of the Hours-of-Service regulations, “if unexpected adverse driving conditions slow you down, you may drive up to two extra hours to complete what could have been driven in normal conditions. This means you could drive for up to 13 hours, which is two hours more than allowed under normal conditions.” Although you are given that two-hour window given adverse driving conditions are present, the FMCSA states that you must not drive after the 14th-hour consecutive hour after coming on duty and you must still “comply with the minimum 30-minute rest break provisions.”
What does the FMCSA consider to be adverse driving conditions?
As we mentioned above, the FMCSA will allow a trucker to continue driving beyond the 11-hour time limit, however, this is only if adverse driving conditions are present. Adverse driving conditions “mean things that you did not know about when you started your [trip]”. So, what would constitute as one of these conditions? Some examples the FMCSA provides are listed below:
- Snow- Because snow can lead to slippery roadway conditions, truckers are encouraged to drive at a slower speed to reduce the chances of their vehicle spinning out of control.
- Fog- Thick fog can make operating any type of vehicle much more difficult. Therefore, truckers should reduce their speed and remain attentive in the event they must come to an abrupt stop for traffic they had trouble seeing.
- Torrential rain- Torrential rain is not only hard to see in but it increases the chances of a vehicle losing control or hydroplaning.
- Shut down of traffic due to a collision- When an accident occurs and traffic is shut down, it can add some additional time to a trip which is why the FMCSA considers this to be an adverse driving condition as well.
The fact is, there are certain types of conditions such as those highlighted above that can make operating a large truck extremely difficult and dangerous which is why the FMCSA allows a trucker to drive beyond the 11-hour time limit. Now, it is important that you understand that congested traffic such as rush hour traffic would not constitute as an adverse driving condition seeing that you should be aware of this, therefore, it won’t fly as an excuse for why you worked beyond the number of hours you are legally permitted to operate a commercial truck.
Aside from knowing when you can and cannot operate a commercial truck beyond the hours-of-service regulations, you also need to know who to contact in the event you recently engaged in a truck collision. Unfortunately, truck accidents happen all too frequently and many times, the victims often walk away empty handed and injured. If you are someone who was involved in a truck wreck in Jackson, OH and you refuse to walk away without being awarded the compensation you know you are entitled to collect, then contact a Jackson, OH truck accident lawyer today.
OH accident attorney Richard M. Lewis is one of the best lawyers in the field who will take the time to assess your case, determine what it is worth, and help you take the necessary forms of action to recoup the compensation you are entitled to collect.
You can reach The Law Firm of Richard M. Lewis at:
295 Pearl Street
Jackson, OH 45640