Does your driver qualify for the ‘adverse driving conditions’ exception?

Make sure drivers, dispatchers, and managers understand the criteria before using the exception

Posted December 13, 2017

Treacherous winter weather can cause a commercial driver to get behind schedule. Some drivers may be able to take advantage of the “adverse driving conditions” exception to extend their day, but it is not automatically available to all drivers in all situations.

What does the regulation state?

Section 395.1(b) lays out the criteria that must be met in order to use the exception.

First, let’s look at what weather events qualify. “Adverse driving conditions” include snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, or unusual road and traffic conditions, which were not apparent to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun.

Next, a driver who encounters “adverse driving conditions” — and as a result of those conditions cannot complete a run in the maximum time allowed — may drive up to an additional two hours to complete the run or find a safe place to stop. However, drivers are subject to specific limits when using the exception.

Property-carrying vehicles

The driver of a property-carrying vehicle who encounters adverse conditions may not drive:

  • More than 13 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty,
  • After having been on duty after the end of the 14th hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty, or
  • If more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty and/or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 consecutive minutes.

Passenger-carrying vehicles

The driver of a passenger-carrying vehicle who encounters adverse conditions may not drive:

  • More than 12 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty, or
  • After he/she has been on duty 15 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty.

Hours of Service Driver TrainingJ. J. Keller's Hours of Service Driver Training teaches all current Hours-of-Service rules drivers must comply with, including critical information regarding the ELD mandate.

 

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