Truck Accidents – Driver Fatigue and Hours of Service Regulations

In 2007, there were 8,809 Alabama Truck Wrecks. Further, 136 people were killed in 2007 in Alabama Truck Accidents. One of the leading causes of truck wrecks is driver fatigue. In an effort to keep fatigued drivers off the highway the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the “hours of service” a trucker can drive a semi-truck. These hours of service regulations are contained in Title 49, Part 395, of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Under the rules for property-carrying commercial motor vehicles, a driver may NOT drive such a vehicle:

  1. More than 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty; or
  2. Beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty; or
  3. After being on duty more than 60/70 hours in any 7/8 consecutive days.

The driver’s record of duty status, commonly known as the driver’s log, is the document used by the driver to record his/her time. Both the carrier and the driver must know what items are required on a driver’s duty status record and how they are to be recorded.

The Record and Its Contents:

First, careful consideration must be given to the actual form to be used by the driver on which to record his or her duty status. No longer do the regulations mandate the use of a specific format, but rather, specify only that certain items be incorporated into whatever form the carrier decides to use. The carrier has the option to select that format which best suits his/her operation. However, the format chosen must include:

  1. the Graph Grid with the remarks section, which can be used either vertically or horizontally,
  2. the date,
  3. the total miles driving today,
  4. truck or tractor and trailer numbers, or motorcoach number,
  5. the name of the carrier,
  6. the carrier’s main office address,
  7. a place for the driver’s signature/certification,
  8. the 24-hour period starting time whether it be midnight, 9:00 a.m., noon, 3:00 p.m., or any other time selected by the carrier for a terminal,
  9. name of co-driver,
  10. total hours (at the end of the grid), and
  11. shipping document number or name of shipper and commodity, or charter order number/schedule number.

For more information on Hours of Sevice and Trucking Regulations visit Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Truck Drivers Log