A significant portion of a trucker’s salary is based on the number of miles he or she drives. This, in conjunction with tight deadlines imposed by employers, can push truckers to their physical limits while on the road. This can lead to excessive fatigue, which, in turn, can decrease a trucker’s driving abilities. Far too often, these diminished capacities cause a serious truck accident that leaves innocent motorists seriously injured.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has attempted to prevent tired truck drivers from plaguing the country’s roadways by implementing hours of service regulations. Under these regulations, a trucker cannot operate his or her truck more than 11 hours after having taken 10 consecutive hours off. Additionally, those 11 hours must fall within a 14-hour period following that 10 hour off time. In total, a trucker cannot drive more than 60 hours in any seven day period and no more than 70 hours in any eight day period.
Truckers are also required to take rest breaks periodically. Under federal regulations, truckers can only operate their rigs if less than eight hours have passed since his or her last rest period of at least 30 minutes that occurred in the sleeper berth of the truck.
Again, these regulations are meant to ensure that truckers are rested while on the road, thereby ensuring that they are fully attentive to their surroundings. However, if you’re reading this post, then you or a loved one may have been injured in a truck accident. If that is the case, then you may need to consider whether the trucker who caused the accident in question violated these hours of service regulations. Evidence that shows a violation could be pivotal in imposing liability and recovering compensation for any damages that may have been suffered.