Commercial drivers who work more hours than required can be liable for accidents

Cedar Rapids, IA – Large semi trucks and other commercial vehicles can become very dangerous on the roads. This is especially true if their drivers are not careful to follow all safety regulations and remain alert. There are government mandated restrictions on the number of hours that commercial drivers and transportation workers can operate a vehicle within the same day. When a truck driver gets into an accident, there may be an investigation to determine whether these regulations were followed, or if the driver will be disciplined in some way for not following the rules.  

Limitations on the number of hours worked

As a general rule, most transportation workers and commercial drivers cannot actually be driving for more than 11 hours in a single day. This limit is set by the federal Department of Transportation and Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and it applies in every state. Drivers must also have a 10 hour break between these shifts of up to 11 hours. If the vehicle carries passengers, the driver can only work for 10 consecutive hours total, and they must take at least 8 hours off between shifts. Drivers are also limited to between 60 and 70 hours on duty over the course of a 7 or 8 consecutive day period, depending on their work week.  

There are also regulations related to breaks during the course of a day. A driver cannot operate for more than 8 hours without at least an uninterrupted 30 minute break. There are also guidelines related to time spent in a sleeping berth that must be followed.  

Some drivers who routinely work within the same 150 mile radius are considered short haul drivers, and they may be exempt from these regulations. 

Consequences for not following driving restrictions

Drivers who have violated these hourly limits and other safety regulations can be disciplined, including the possibility of losing their commercial driving privileges. If the driver causes an accident while in violation of any of these rules, they may be used and evidence of this violation will be used to help prove that they were negligent. 

Civil lawsuits against businesses

Any legal action taken or personal injury case filed against a driver who does not operate their truck or commercial vehicle properly will attach the parent business as a defendant. These businesses are strictly liable for the actions committed by their employees within the course of their normal job duties. 

Attorneys provide advice related to Iowa law and personal injury matters

Anyone who has questions about motor vehicle or truck accidents, and the process to get paid through a civil lawsuit can consult with a lawyer in Iowa. Eells and Tronvold Law Offices focuses on assisting people with their legal issues in the Cedar Rapids area and throughout the state. 

Firm contact info:

Eells and Tronvold Law Offices

1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400 



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.