Before putting your safety in the hands of another driver, come learn more about driver regulations and how their schedule may impact your safety.

Federal Regulations Designed to Keep Your Bus Driver Rested and Focused

Close up of bus driverDue to ongoing concern over commercial driver fatigue, federal “Hours of Service” rules are in place for commercial truckers. The rules include when and how long drivers should sleep and are meant to increase driver focus and decrease distracted driving collisions. However, truck drivers aren’t the only ones who are paid to drive for extended periods of time. What about those who drive charter buses or limos for extended hours and through the night? Are these drivers covered by the same laws?

Passenger Driver Regulations

In an effort to make sure that professional drivers who are responsible for dozens of passengers are well rested when they drive, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service regulations not only pertain to commercial truck drivers but also commercial passenger drivers. This means that the following three rest regulations for truck drivers must also be followed by passenger drivers.

  • 10-hour driving limit. Commercial drivers may drive a maximum of 10 consecutive hours if, and only if, they have had eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • 15-hour work limit. Commercial drivers may only be on duty for a maximum of 15 hours (10 hours driving and five hours completing miscellaneous work tasks). Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • 60/70-hour weekly work limit. Commercial drivers may not drive after completing 60 hours of work in seven consecutive days or 70 hours of work throughout eight consecutive days.

Who Is a Commercial Motor Vehicle Passenger Driver?

Those who must comply with the Hours of Service mandates are all drivers of interstate commercial motor vehicles (buses, motor-coaches, limousines, etc) that satisfy one or more of the following:

  • Vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds (4,536 kg) or more
  • Designed or used to transport 8 or more passengers for compensation, or 15 or more passengers without compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

If it can be determined that the hours-of-service rules have been violated by a commercial motor-vehicle passenger driver, he may be held liable for any damages caused by fatigue. Additionally, the driver’s employer may also be held liable for not enforcing the HOS rules and placing the driver’s passengers (as well as surrounding traffic) in jeopardy.

To learn your rights after being injured in a commercial accident, as well as who is responsible for your pain and suffering, consult an experienced collision attorney right away.