NOVEMBER 9, 2017 – From catastrophic hurricanes to wildfires, there has been a lot of weather-related news this fall. First and foremost, we recognize the brutal consequences, including the loss of lives and homes, that can be caused by severe weather.
With that in mind, and with the winter season fast approaching, we thought now would be a good time to address how severe weather and adverse driving conditions may impact motor carrier operations and the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules.
The FMCSA defines adverse driving conditions as: “snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions, none of which were apparent on the basis of information known to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun.”
So, while this may include an unexpected snow storm or a traffic delay due to a crash, it doesn’t include time sitting in traffic due to normal, rush hour congestion.
HOS Exemption Due to Adverse Driving Conditions
If any of the conditions described above exist, drivers may continue driving until the intended destination is reached or until they are able to safely reach a secure location, but for no more than two extra hours.
It is important that drivers notate their log when using the exemption. They must also provide as much detail as possible.
Maximum Driving Times
Property motor carriers cannot drive more than 11 hours during a 14-hour period. This means that drivers may drive up to 13 hours in adverse conditions.
Passenger motor carriers cannot drive more than 10 hours during a 15-hour period. This means that drivers may drive up to 12 hours in adverse conditions.
It’s important to note that the adverse conditions exemption only applies to driving time. This means that no matter what conditions exist, property motor carriers cannot drive after having been on duty for 14 consecutive hours and passenger motor carriers cannot drive after having been on duty for 15 consecutive hours.
Questions, concerns or comments? Leave them in the comments section below!