Truck accidents and hours of service regulations

If you find yourself anxious when driving around semi-trucks, you’re not alone. These massive rigs pose a serious threat to everyday motorists, especially when they aren’t safely driven. Yet, the sad reality is that truckers often take to the road when they are distracted, drunk, or tired, which can significantly decrease their driving abilities.

Federal regulators have attempted to curtail dangerous trucking in a number of ways. One of the most prevalent is the implementation of hours of service regulations. These rules limit the number of hours a trucker can operate his or her rig without taking a federally mandated rest. For example, a trucker is only allowed to driver for 11 hours after taking off 10 consecutive hours. Additionally, a trucker cannot drive beyond the 14th hour following that 10-hour rest period.

But the regulations pertaining to hours of service don’t stop there. A trucker can only drive if there have been less than eight hours since his or her last rest period of at least 30 minutes in the trucks sleeper section. Lastly, a trucker is disallowed from driving for more than 60 hours in a period of seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days.

So what does this mean for those who have been injured in a truck accident? It means that they should consider obtaining travel logs from a trucker and his or her employer to determine if a violation of the hours of service regulations has occurred. Evidence of a violation can lend support to a personal injury lawsuit against a trucker and his employer, the result of which may be the recovery of compensation for damages suffered. Therefore, truck accident victims may want to consider discussing their particular set of circumstances with an attorney of their choosing to best ensure that their claim is as strong as possible.