Common Hours of Service Violations

HOS Violations hours of service

Truck drivers work long daily and weekly hours on a continual basis. Hours of Service, or HOS, regulations are to protect truck drivers and other motorists by preventing drivers from operating a vehicle unsafely due to overexertion and fatigue. These regulations generally place limits on how long a driver can operate a vehicle and be on duty.

Hours of Service, or HOS, refers to the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty including drive time, and specifies number and length of rest periods to help ensure drivers stay awake and alert.

Common Rule Violations

Truck driver logbook protect truck drivers preventing driversAlthough all carriers and drivers operating commercial motor vehicles are required to abide by the Hours of Service regulations, violations do occur and can lead to motor vehicle accidents. These are common rule violations that may have a bearing on trucking accidents.

This is a general overview; specific details of the regulations can be found in section 49 CFR 395 of FMCSA guidelines

The FMCSA has set driving limits for property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers. Operating past drive time and duty limits is considered a critical violation that can have serious consequences.

  • Operating past allowed hours of on-duty driving limits. Property-carrying drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Passenger-carrying drivers are allowed a 10-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty. These limits pertain to driving time, not total time on duty. Driving time is defined as actual time spent at the controls of the vehicle in operation.
  • Operating past allowed hours of duty on-duty limits. The FMCSA also has set limits to duty time. Property-carrying drivers are subject to a 14-hour rule. When a driver reaches 14 hours, the driver cannot drive again until s/he has been off duty for 10 consecutive hours. Passenger-carrying drivers are subject to a 15-hour duty period limit, after 8 consecutive hours off duty.

There is only one exception for both driving and duty limits: the adverse driving conditions exemption.

Driving more than 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days. Known as the 70-hour 8-day rule, drivers are subject to limits over the course of several days. Neither property-carrying or passenger-carrying drivers can drive after 60 hours on duty over 7 consecutive days or 70 hours on duty in 8 consecutive days.

Inaccurate record of duty statuses. Drivers are required to keep up-to-date and complete records to maintain compliance and ensure they are not in violation of the regulations.  In addition, knowingly falsifying logbooks is another serious infraction of the regulations.

HOS violations hours of service drowsy driving overexertion fatigue operating a vehicle unsafelyHours of Service Violations Lead to Drowsy Driving

Breaking the HOS rules can lead to drowsy drivers. Fatigue can result in:

  • Delayed reaction times
  • Impaired judgment and vision
  • Decreased performance and motivation
  • Difficulty processing information
  • Short-term memory issues
  • Increased moodiness
  • Tendencies toward aggressive behavior

Establishing Hours of Service Violations

The truck accident attorneys at Nash & Franciskato know how to identify when truck drivers have violated the Hours of Service laws. We understand the regulations, how they apply in different situations and know how to determine if these rules have been violated.

Truckers are required to keep a logbook to keep track of when drivers are on duty, off duty and actually driving. We will thoroughly investigate your accident, which will include examining a driver’s logbook, plus other records such as:

  • Cell phone records
  • Credit and debit card transactions
  • Video from toll booth, security and intersection cameras
  • Gas receipts and toll tickets
  • The truck’s black box data records

We know how to handle truck accident claims, taking the burden off your shoulders and enabling you to concentrate on what matters most: healing and recovering from the accident.


Truck accidents due to fatigue can be devastating, leaving you suffering from severe physical and emotional injuries. Nash & Franciskato, a Kansas City based personal injury law firm, represents those injured in trucking accidents.

If you need to understand your legal options and the likelihood of obtaining compensation after an accident, contact our experienced trucking accident attorneys at (877) 284-6600. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.



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