Truck Accidents and Hours of Service Violations

In 2020, approximately 4,014 people were killed in traffic accidents involving a commercial truck. According to collected statistics, 15% of these deaths were the occupants of the trucks themselves, 85% were motorists, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

Getting into a traffic accident with a commercial truck can have devastating consequences for those involved. The weight of these huge machines can reach up to 32 tons, and that’s without counting the load they carry. Therefore, manoeuvring or braking requires time in advance, and can be extremely difficult.

There are several factors that can cause commercial trucking accidents. However, today we will mention those that occur due to drivers who drive beyond the number of hours allowed during their shift, so fatigue and tiredness become the greatest danger, both for them and for other drivers.

The agency responsible for overseeing the safety of trucking companies is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency establishes the safety regulations that companies must follow in the operation of their vehicles, including the hours of service that an operator can drive.

These regulations are intended to ensure that the drivers of these trucks are sufficiently rested to operate them. A driver who hasn’t had enough sleep can have the same reflexes and functionality problems as a person under the influence of alcohol.

Here are some of these work regulations for these drivers:

  • A driver who has a 14-hour shift can only drive for 11 hours.
  • Within this 14-hour shift, drivers must take 30-minute breaks to take naps, eat or use the bathroom. Especially if they have been driving for eight hours straight.
  • The driver can start a new shift of 14 hours, only after having been off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, call us for advice. We will review your case and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your recovery.

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