Truck drivers and other commercial vehicle drivers are required to follow certain regulations regarding their work schedule, called “hours of service.” When these are not followed, a driver can become drowsy at the wheel, increasing the risk of a devastating truck accident that puts smaller vehicles in serious danger.
Federal Regulations for Trucking Hours
Hours of service are designed to keep truck drivers well-rested by limiting the hours they can work during a given time period. The federal laws that are in place aim to take better care of commercial truckers across the country, which should in turn provide safer highways for everyone else.
Regulations that truck drivers and their employers must follow include:
- Truck drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in 7 days.
- After reaching their driving limit, truckers must rest for 34 hours.
- Truckers are limited to 11 hours of driving per shift.
Although truck drivers are required to follow federal guidelines for driving hours, they are often pressured to maximize their working time during a week. As a result, some truck drivers ignore these rules, driving while fatigued and endangering other drivers. In some instances, it has been found that other commercial truckers resort to speeding to shorten their travel time or even utilize overloaded trailers to try to cut out an entire leg of their journey. Not only are these practices illegal, they are also highly dangerous as they make safely controlling the 18-wheeler incredibly difficult.
Are Some Truck Drivers are Exempt from the Rules?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are several ways a truck driver can become exempt from the hours of service regulations. Many of these exemptions involve making up for lost time during abnormal driving conditions or truckers who only need to travel less than 100 air-miles to complete their routes. However, one of the statutes allows a driver to exceed their regulated hours under “emergency conditions,” and they and their employer may try to exploit the vagueness of this rule to get away with using exhausted truckers on Texas highways.
To challenge their claims and hold them responsible for their negligence, you will need to be thorough in your investigation into your truck accident and construct a solid case for court. Rather than attempting to handle it alone, secure the services of a team of experienced attorneys you can trust.
Contact Parker Law Firm
Our Fort Worth truck accident attorneys at Parker Law Firm can represent you after an accident with a commercial vehicle. We understand the difficulty posed by accident-related injuries, and can help you or a loved one seek justice for damages suffered on account of illegal, reckless, or negligent behavior of another. We may even be able to strengthen your claim with evidence that hours of service regulations were not followed prior to the collision. Your well-being will always be our priority, no matter how far we need to go to protect your rights as someone who was wronged. Dial (817) 503-9200 to Speak to Our Personal Injury Lawyers