When Truckers Violate Hours of Service Regulations, Tragedies Are the Result
Any truck accident can cause horrific injuries and deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,903 people were killed in truck accidents in 2014, and 73 percent of the victims were occupants of other vehicles. In addition, approximately 111,000 people were injured in these crashes.
Trucker fatigue is a huge contributing factor in these wrecks. Sadly, many of these collisions could have been prevented if semi-truck drivers followed the federal rules regarding how long they can drive without a rest.
Did the Trucker Who Caused Your Crash Violate These Hours of Service Rules?
To protect occupants of other vehicles from tired truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has federal regulations that specify how long truckers can drive before taking a break. Truckers are supposed to follow these hours of service laws:
- 14 hours of work. Truck drivers cannot work more than 14 hours in one shift and then must take off 10 consecutive hours before returning to work.
- 11 hours of driving. In their 14-hour shift, a trucker can only drive a maximum of 11 hours.
- "60 hours within 7 days" rule. If a trucking company doesn't operate every day of the week, a trucker is only allowed to work 60 hours in a 7-day time period.
- "70 hours within 8 days" rule. When a trucking company operates every day of the week, a trucker can work a maximum of 70 hours within an 8-day time period.
- 30-minute break. If more than eight consecutive hours have passed since a trucker’s rest break of at least 30 minutes, a trucker is required to take a break of at least one-half hour before driving.
- 34 hours off. Once a driver has completed his work week, he must take 34 hours off before returning to work.
Unfortunately, many truckers violate these hours of service rules, and some even falsify their driving records to hide their noncompliance. This is why you need an experienced truck accident attorney to prove this and any other trucker negligence caused your crash. Contact Morton Law Offices at 208.344.5555 to learn about your legal options.