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When managing a fleet, it is important to stay up to date on all regulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations are put in place to maintain compliance and ensure safe practices for the drivers on the road. Hours of Service (HOS) violations are particularly important for the safety of your drivers and your fleet. In this blog, we will cover the most common HOS violations and how to prevent them.

What are Hours of Service Regulations?

According to FMCSA guidelines, Hours of Service refer to the maximum time drivers are allowed to be on duty. This includes drive time, number of breaks, and length of rest periods. The HOS regulations aim to prevent drivers from operating a vehicle while they are overexerted and fatigued from long driving hours.

 According to CRS reports, up to 20% of bus and large truck crashes in the U.S. happen due to drivers being tired while driving. When drivers are not at the top of their game, it can put them and the public at risk. Hence, these violations carry hefty fines and other potential HOS violation penalties.

Mastering Compliance: How to Avoid HOS Violations and Protect Your CSA Score

As mentioned, overlooking HOS rules can cause serious consequences, from expensive fines and violation points to revoking the driver’s license. Fortunately, there are a few easy procedures that can greatly help you comply with HOS regulations. Best of all, it can be done affordably and easily. Here are the most typical HOS violations and how to prevent them.

1. Driving past the 14-hour duty period

Being on the road is not as easy as it may seem to some people. Drivers have a lot of things on their minds during a working day, from staying alert to keeping their carriage safe. This may result in drivers losing track of time and driving long hours, which can often cause accidents. This is why the FMCSA established the 14-hour duty period rule to help prevent fatigued drivers. However, keeping track of the hours spent on duty can sometimes be an issue for drivers since their day-to-day job requires a lot of focus and alertness. If drivers go over this time span while on duty, they violate the HOS regulations, and nobody wants that.

Preventing and avoiding HOS violations is crucial for drivers. The best way to do this and have an overview of your on-duty hours is to use an electronic logging device (ELD). You can easily achieve this with the RouteMate logbook manager and real-time alerts. Our user-friendly interface displays driving hours clearly, keeping everyone informed and compliant. 

2. Driving over 60/70 hours in 7/8 days

Drivers should not exceed 60/70 hours of driving during 7/8 consecutive days. Violating this rule is considered a critical HOS violation that can seriously affect your CSA score. The consecutive day period restarts when the driver takes 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. It is important to stay educated on the 34-hour restart rule since it allows drivers to restart their cycle and quickly get back on the road.

Finding an ELD that covers all aspects can be challenging but not impossible. A comprehensive ELD, such as RouteMate, is an effective solution in this case. It provides a precise, in-built notification system that alerts drivers periodically and helps them keep track of the time left until the end of the 14-hour duty period. RouteMate also offers an overview of all logs and hours of service on the device dashboard. It is very accessible and user-friendly, so it won’t create any confusion. This will help drivers be sure they are not close to violating HOS rules and keep their CSA score under control.

3. No record of Duty Status

According to the FMCSA regulation, each driver must record the driver’s duty status for each 24-hour period. The recordkeeping HOS violations are classified as critical violations that can severely affect CSA scores and potentially put a driver out of service

The driver must record the following information:

  • The time the driver reports for duty 
  • The total number of hours the driver is on duty
  • The time the driver is released from duty each day
  • The total time for the preceding seven days

With an electronic logbook, fleets get instant alerts whenever the driver is nearing violations or breaking them. With reliable and FMCSA approved ELD, such as RouteMate, drivers will always be on top of their records of duty, avoiding an HOS violation.

Hours of Service Violation Consequences

As you already know, HOS violations can have severe consequences. Each violation has an assigned number of HOS violation points depending on the severity. These points determine the fleet’s overall Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) score, which FMCSA uses to identify high-risk drivers who may require intervention.

Maintaining a good CSA score is important to a fleet since it directly affects business opportunities. Preventing Hours of Service Violations will ensure safety for all on the road while also improving the overall efficiency of your fleet. The best way to maintain compliance is to invest in a reliable ELD and establish good practices through education.

Final Word

HOS rules may seem like something that can cause a lot of anxiety or even be boring to monitor. However, they exist with the most important thing in mind: drivers’ safety. Because of this, complying with them should be one of the top priorities on the road. If drivers want to avoid revoking their license or increasing their CSA score, they should do their best to avoid violating these HOS rules.

Fortunately, HOS violations can be easily prevented with an ELD device. If you wish to know more about RouteMate and how it can assist you in avoiding HOS violations, do not hesitate to contact us here or call us at (765) 770-0279.


  • What are the most common hours of service violations?

The most common hours of service violations are operating past hours of on-duty driving limits and not completing drivers’ logs.

  • What is the 14-hour period rule?

The 14-hour period rule is a law stating that a driver must take a mandatory ten hours off duty after their 14-hour driving shift. 

  • How to restart a 7/8 consecutive day period?

A driver restarts the 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more hours off duty.

  • How to avoid common HOS violations?

The best way to avoid HOS violations is to invest in a reliable ELD and stay up to date with FMCSA regulations.

  • How can RouteMate help avoid HOS violations?

RouteMate provides a notification system that helps drivers keep track of their driving hours. Our software also provides an overview of all logs and hours of service, enabling you to stay compliant and safe.

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