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Are There Times When Hours of Service are Waived for Truckers in Oklahoma City?

— July 12, 2022

Oklahoma City, OK – Trucking is an industry that is subject to several different regulations at the state and federal level. This is mostly due to the dangerous nature of the work, and most regulations are put in place to help maximize driver and vehicle safety while reducing the chances of an accident. Some of the most important regulations are hours of service, which state that drivers can only drive a limited amount each day. 

Despite these safety regulations, Oklahoma City accident lawyers are still able to regularly file lawsuits against truckers who have caused harm to other drivers. 

Normal hours of service

Truckers are generally limited to up to eleven total driving hours within a day and fourteen total working hours if they do additional work aside from driving. This eleven hour maximum can only be attained during days when there is at least a ten hour off-duty period prior to driving. Oklahoma has adopted these federal regulations at the state level, therefore the same time limitations apply to all commercial drivers in the state with the exception that intrastate drivers can log twelve hours in a day if they are not moving hazardous materials. 

Following these regulations is important, as law enforcement can penalize drivers who have been on the roads for longer than allowed. It is also possible that Oklahoma City truck accident lawyers can bring a lawsuit against a driver that caused a collision while they were in violation of the regulations, and the hours that they drove can be presented as evidence of negligence. 

Regulations during the pandemic

Wisconsin's Supreme Court is Reviewing the Governor's COVID-19 Orders
Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Drivers were allowed to work and drive for extended hours starting in March of 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The federal government’s Motor Carrier Safety Administration had temporarily suspended these regulations in all states due to these unusual circumstances. Despite the fact that hours of service were not limited, it is still possible that attorneys can sue a driver who caused an accident during these times if there is evidence that they were at fault for the crash. 

Department of Public Safety Waivers

There are times when a driver or their employer may request an exemption from the hours of service from the Troop Commander of the Department of Public Safety in Oklahoma. The applicant should be able to explain their situation thoroughly to try to get a temporary exemption from the state and federal hours of service requirements. This should require some kind of exigency, as extended driving hours can create a danger to others on the road. 

Legal advice after an accident in Oklahoma City is available to help anyone who is looking for a lawyer in their city by calling 800-672-3103. The site lists legal professionals in every state and practice area throughout the country. 

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