Few would argue that operating a commercial truck such as a semi-truck or flatbed is a challenging job. Drivers drive long hours and must cope with adverse weather, poor road conditions, and other hazards. However, truck drivers have a legal duty and an ethical responsibly to drive safely and follow all local, state, and federal laws – including Hours of Service rules.
Hours of Service rules are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The rules limit when and for how long a commercial driver may drive without taking a rest break. Sleepiness behind the wheel has been proven to increase the risk of severe and deadly truck accidents, so getting the proper rest is essential.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a commercial truck crash caused by a fatigued driver, you may be able to seek compensation and justice through a truck crash injury claim.
Driving Beyond the Limitations Can Increase the Risk of a Crash
Commercial vehicles hauling freight are limited to 11 hours of driving time after being off duty for 10 hours. Also, drivers must take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving. Driving beyond these limitations puts a driver at risk for mistakes behind the wheel caused by fatigue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that sleepiness can cause a range of adverse consequences. Drivers who have not gotten enough rest are slower to react to sudden changes or obstacles on the road. The time it takes for them to apply the brake or steer out of the way of an obstacle is longer, making the risk of an accident greater. Sleepiness also decreases attentiveness and decision-making ability, two crucial aspects of safe driving.
Driver Logbooks May Be Crucial Forms of Evidence in Your Case
If you or someone you care about were hurt in a commercial truck crash, you may be able to take legal action against the driver or trucking company and pursue compensation for damages. When building your claim, the truck driver’s logbook may be a valuable source of evidence. All commercial truck drivers are required to log their drive time and rest breaks in a logbook. If a commercial truck driver violates the Hours of Service rules by driving too long, this could be used to demonstrate the driver’s liability for the accident.
The truck’s event data recorder or EDR may also be a valuable source of evidence that shows Hours of Service violations.
Contact a Plainfield Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck crash injury attorney Daniel R. Flaherty represents victims of commercial truck accidents and other types of motor vehicle accidents. He and the rest of the team at Flaherty Law can help you take legal action after a commercial truck crash and pursue financial compensation for medical bills, vehicle damage, and other damages. Call 815-577-7500 for a free consultation.