Commercial drivers in Texas and throughout the country could soon see a change to current hours-of-service rules. As they are written today, drivers can remain on duty for no longer than 14 hours at a time. During this on-duty period, they can spend up to 11 hours on the road. Once that period is over, a driver must wait at least 10 hours before working again.
Those who plan on driving for eight or more hours must stop for 30 minutes prior to reaching eight hours for the day. Hours are tracked by an electronic logging device (ELD) that also keeps track of whether a driver is on or off duty. Those who violate HOS rules could be forced to stop driving for a day or more. As many drivers are paid by the mile, being forced out of service may result in lost income.
If the proposed changes are adopted, drivers may no longer need to take the 30-minute break. Instead, they could simply stop their hours clock for three hours during their on-duty window. Advocates of the rule changes say that it will make it easier for drivers to wait out heavy traffic or find a place to park without breaking the law. However, critics say that it could result in drivers working longer hours and being more susceptible to fatigue.
An individual who has been hurt in a commercial vehicle accident may want to reach out to an attorney. Working with a legal professional might help a plaintiff obtain compensation for his or her injuries. Compensation could help an injured victim pay medical bills or make up for lost wages. An attorney may use electronic records to show that the at-fault driver should not have been on the road when the crash occurred.