Federal rules limit how long truckers can stay on the road

By |2024-01-16T09:40:27+00:00November 17th, 2017|

Many of the truck drivers who pass through Orange County, California, are subject to the rules and regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Among those regulations, some of the most important are the FMCSA’s so-called rest rules, which are also referred to as Hours of Services regulations.

Basically, a truck driver must take a 10-hour break after actually driving for 11 hours. Moreover, because these 11 hours driving do not account for short breaks like gas and bathroom stops, the rules also specify that a truck driver cannot be on the clock for more than 14 hours without stopping for a 10-hour break. Depending on the circumstances, a trucker also has to take at least 34 hours, one and one-half days, off after driving either 60 or 70 hours in about a week.

The reason behind these rules is to prevent truck driver fatigue. Of course, no Orange County resident wants to think of what would happen were a truck driver to actually fall asleep at the wheel. Even if a tired trucker can manage to keep himself or herself awake, serious truck accidents are still more likely just because a tired truck driver is easily distracted, does not react well to sudden emergencies and in general may drive much like an intoxicated driver would.

Not surprisingly, therefore, fatigued truck drivers can cause serious truck accidents that can leave innocent Californians permanently disabled and in need of medical help and replacement income. Unfortunately, drivers and trucking companies are sometimes still tempted to wink at these rules or just ignore them in order to boost profit. If they choose to do so and cause an accident as a result, they can be held financially accountable.


About the Author:

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Doug Easton has practiced law since 1971. After 20 years of practicing with various large litigation firms, he founded the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton in 1991 as a solo practitioner. In the years that followed, Doug’s sons Brian and Matt joined him in the practice and helped build the firm into a powerful force to help right the wrongs done to their clients. Much of their success over the years has stemmed from the dynamic created by the familial nature of the firm and how harmoniously they all work together, each of their individual strengths complementing and fortifying the group as a whole. Accordingly, the firm changed its name to Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014 to better reflect the true dynamic of the firm and Doug now serves as Managing Partner of Easton & Easton. In 2015, Doug was selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in California by The American Society of Legal Advocates. In addition, Doug is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and in 2008 was named its “Professional of the Year” in Medical Malpractice.
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