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The federal hours of service rules

It being close to the border of two other states, Evansville sees many truckers and other commercial vehicles passing through on their way to deliver property or passengers to a location in a state other than Indiana. Many of these truckers are subject to federal regulation.

For those which are subject to federal regulation, the drivers have to follow certain rules which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration designed to prevent driver fatigue and, as a result of that fatigue, serious commercial vehicle accidents that have the potential to leave an Evansville resident seriously injured or even dead.

For instance, truckers who are carrying properly have to stop for 10 hour of rest once they have behind the wheel for 11 hours. Since truckers do not have to count things like stops gas, food and the restroom as time behind the wheel, the Administration created a separate rule which requires a 10-hour rest after a trucker has been on the clock for 14 hours altogether, including time taking short breaks.

The rules for drivers who are transporting passengers are slightly different. Bus drivers and others have to stop and rest for 8 hours but only get 10 hours behind the wheel before having to stop again. Like truckers hauling property, there is a separate rule for overall time on the clock, but drivers of passenger vehicles can be on the clock for 15 hours before stopping.

These rules are enforced by the government via fines and other actions; a trucker who breaks them does not automatically owe an accident victim compensation. However, the violation of these rules can be used as prove a truck driver involved in an accident was too tired to drive safely and thus negligent and liable to pay compensation to his or her victims.

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