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What are Hours of Service, "HOS" rules?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes rules on the drivers of large vehicles that govern how long a driver can operate his vehicle before having a break. The longer a driver is on duty, the greater his fatigue and the greater the chance for a fatigue related accident. The most obvious example is falling asleep at the wheel. Many drivers are required (unofficially, of course) to unload entire truckloads of freight after driving for hours, and before driving many more hours to the next stop on a run. This is not good math for the motoring public, and it is one reason that I chose to step away from the trucking profession in the late 1980's. Drivers are required to log all of their time in a written log (logbook) that breaks down each 24 hour period into one of four categories: Driving / On duty not driving / Off duty / Sleeper berth. Also, there are limits on how many hours a driver can operate during each week. The intent of the rules is good and proper, but there lots of conflicts and problems. For example, if a driver gets paid by the mile, he often does not want to take a break at all (more miles = more pay), and this leads to problems. Drivers also get stuck between their dispatchers who say "GO GO GO," and the company safety department, which collect daily logs and check them for accuracy and compliance. As a result, drivers must become experts at doctoring their daily and weekly logs so that they turn in "legal" paperwork, and the industry traditionally looks the other way. If you have been injured in a situation where a professional driver fell asleep at the wheel or made some other fatigue related mistake, chances are that he may have been violating the HOS rules and falsifying his logbook. Give me a call at 518-533-5982 if you have been injured in an accident possibly involving driver fatigue. Let's talk about the situation and see if I can help make a recovery for you.

Attorney Paul B. Sherr serves clients in the following areas:

New York: Albany, Troy, Rensselaer, Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Schenectady, Hudson, Glen Falls, Washington County, Schoharie County, and Greene County.


Massachusetts: Berkshire County, including Pittsfield, Dalton, Washington, Otis, Becket, Hinsdale, Richmond, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Alford, Sheffield, Tyringham, Monterey, Egremont, Cheshire, Adams, North Adams, Hancock, Williamstown, and Lanesboro.

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149 Main Street
Ravena, New York 12143
Phone: 518-533-5982
Fax: 312-253-1173

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