Truck Driver Hours of Service Regulations in Nevada


Truckers drive long shifts, often for many days at a time. With any extended road trip, drivers risk falling victim to fatigue and boredom ― two significant causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. To reduce the chances of truck accidents caused by overwork and fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes strict rules governing how long a truck driver can remain behind the wheel before taking a rest break. These rules are known as hours-of-service regulations (HOS).

FMCSA hours-of-service rules are not optional. Drivers and trucking companies must follow the regulations or risk severe penalties for violations. And if a driver fails to abide by trucking hours-of-service rules and causes an accident, injured victims can hold them financially accountable for their negligence.

Did you or someone you love suffer injuries in a crash caused by a fatigued truck driver in Nevada? It’s possible the driver broke state and federal laws governing their hours of operation, and you could be entitled to significant compensation through a personal injury claim.

Let a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys review your case. We know truck accidents cause some of the most catastrophic injuries on Nevada roads. Our legal team can help you pursue compensation from all liable parties. We’ll leave no stone unturned to uncover the evidence necessary to build a robust case for maximum compensation for you.

We know the last thing you need after an accident is to deal with insurance companies and paperwork. Our law firm offers comprehensive legal services and can do all the legwork for you. All you need to do is focus on your rest and rehabilitation.

Let’s get started today. Call or contact us now for a free case review.

What Are the FMCSA Hours-of-Service Regulations?

Federal and Nevada hours-of-service rules stipulate that:

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: A truck driver can drive for 11 hours in a 14-hour shift.
  • 10 Off-Duty Hours: A driver may not operate a truck for their 11-hour shift until they have spent at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Rule: A trucker may not operate their vehicle past the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.
  • 30-Minute Rest Breaks: A driver must take a break of at least 30 minutes after spending eight cumulative hours driving without a break of 30 minutes or more. The break may be spent on duty and not driving, off-duty, in a sleeper berth, or in any combination.
  • 60/70 Hour Limit: A trucker cannot drive after a total of 60 hours on duty in any seven-consecutive-day period or a total of 70 hours on duty in any eight-consecutive day period. These seven or eight-day periods restart after an off-duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours.
  • Sleeper Birth Provision: A driver may split their 10-hour, off-duty period into one period of at least two hours either inside or outside the sleeper berth and another period of at least seven hours spent in the sleeper berth.
  • Adverse Driving Conditions Exception: A driver may extend their 11-hour and 14-hour limits by up to two hours when encountering adverse driving conditions.
  • Short Haul Exception: Some truck drivers are exempt from the hours-of-service regulations under the “short-haul exception.” Truckers may be exempt if they operate within a 150 air-mile radius of their work reporting location, do not spend more than 14 hours on duty, and return to their work reporting location at the end of their shift.
Driving Hour Limits

How Do Hours-of-Service Violations Lead to Truck Accidents?

When drivers exceed trucking hours-of-service limits, they face increasing risks of becoming tired behind the wheel. Studies show that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That’s because fatigue causes many of the same impairments as intoxication, including:

  • Reduced reaction times
  • Altered perceptions
  • Impaired judgment
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Limited awareness of the surroundings

All of these effects make it more likely for a truck driver to make a reckless mistake or fall asleep behind the wheel, potentially leading to a collision.

Penalties for HOS Violations

Law enforcement officers and state and federal regulators may request to inspect a truck driver’s hours-of-service logs at any time. If the records show any HOS violations, a driver can immediately be placed out of service. This means that the driver’s truck must stay on the roadside or at a rest stop for 10 to 34 hours.

In addition to putting a driver out of service, officials can assess fines and penalties upon a driver and their employer. Fines normally range from $1,000 to $16,000, depending on the severity of the offense. If a driver is carrying hazardous materials when in violation of the hours-of-service rules, maximum fines may reach as high as $75,000.

A driver or trucking company that demonstrates a pattern of violating the hours-of-service rules may be subject to other penalties, including the downgrading of a trucking company’s rating or downgrading of a driver’s compliance/safety/accountability score. In cases where a truck driver or trucking company regularly engages in intentional violations of the hours-of-service rules, state or federal criminal charges may be imposed.

Violating HOS Consequences

Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident Caused by Driver Fatigue?

Multiple parties could be liable when a drowsy or fatigued driver causes a truck accident in Las Vegas, including:

  • Trucker: A truck driver is liable for a drowsy truck driving accident when they intentionally violate HOS regulations.
  • Trucking company: The trucking company may be liable for an accident caused by a driver who violated hours-of-service rules if the driver was an employee at the company (as opposed to an independent contractor). A truck company also has direct liability for a fatigued driving truck accident if it instructed or pressured its driver to exceed the hours-of-service limits.
  • The truck’s owner: When a commercial truck is owned by a party other than the trucking company or truck driver, the truck’s owner may be liable if the owner knew that the truck driver was violating the hours-of-service rules.
  • The freight company – If the freight or cargo company has responsibility for dispatching drivers, it has liability for a truck accident if the freight company directed or encouraged a truck driver to violate the hours-of-service rules.
Drive Safe

Contact Our Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyers Today

If you were hurt in a collision caused by a drowsy or fatigued truck driver, contact THE702Firm Injury Lawyers today. Our seasoned Las Vegas truck accident lawyers will advise you of your rights and help you seek justice and fair compensation from the at-fault party. Call or fill out our convenient online form for a free initial consultation.