After everything is said and done, one of the most valuable things, if not the most valuable, each of us has is our time. When we’re dead and gone, it’s the memories we made with others for which we are most often remembered. You often hear the word “time” used in conjunction with a combination of other words such as “Can I have a little bit of your time?, Fast times, Slow time, Quiet time, Fun times, Important time, Valuable time, Free time” and the list goes on and on.
Those of us who are drivers in the transportation industry have to keep track of our time. We all sign a document, whether it is on paper or electronically, stating that we will adhere to the Federally mandated hours of service. There are 11 allowable hours to drive, as part of a 14-hour duty cycle along with a required half-hour break before our eighth consecutive hour at work. Many of these numbers get moved around with the split sleeper berth and adverse driving condition exemptions.
Of course, there are outside limits where we are limited to 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days. But the provision that I find interesting is “the adverse driving conditions” exemption as provided by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
When you do a little research and look at the exact definition of the adverse driving conditions exemption, you will find that this rule is very vague. In fact, by the letter, the case can be made that we hit an “adverse driving condition” every day. Don’t worry, I’m not about to use this exemption on a regular basis because I wouldn’t want a trial lawyer and jury to be the ones clarifying the definition of unforeseen or adverse conditions for me.
Here is a link from the FMCSA that gives some guidance on this provision: