New Rules Limit Truckers’ Hours Behind Wheel

South Carolina is home to many trucking companies. They range from small, locally owned businesses to national carriers with major terminals throughout the state. This means that the trucking industry has a definite presence on South Carolina’s highways.

With so many tractor-trailers on the state’s roads, automobile drivers are inevitably affected. From distractions to exhaustion, truckers who do not pay close attention while behind the wheel can cause devastating accidents. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that up to 40 percent of truck crashes may be attributed to driver fatigue.

This is part of the reason the federal government has created new rules for trucking hours of service across the nation. The law directly addresses how long truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators can spend on the road.

Although hours of service rules had already been in place, the government has revised them significantly. Now the law covers drivers who are carrying property or passengers, as well. Also, the updated rules require rest breaks for drivers.

Truck drivers who are transporting property must:

  • Drive no more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty;
  • Not drive past the 14th consecutive hour after coming off duty; and
  • Not drive beyond 60 to 70 hours in seven to eight consecutive days.

Drivers who carry passengers must:

  • Drive no more than 10 hours after eight hours off duty;
  • Not drive beyond 15 hours on duty;
  • Drive no more than 15 hours if they had been off duty for eight hours; and
  • Not drive beyond 60 to 70 hours in seven to eight consecutive days.

Truck accidents can cause serious injuries in a collision due to the vehicles’ size and weight compared with passenger automobiles. Truckers and trucking companies that ignore the revised hours of service law can face civil penalties. By July 1, all drivers and carriers must comply with these updated rules.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, Just call Joye Law Firm and get our South Carolina truck accident attorneys fighting for you. You can reach us at 888-594-7741 or fill out an online form for a free case review. Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston and Myrtle Beach.