Hours of Service Violations in Truck Accident Cases
Accidents involving large trucks are often some of the most devastating that occur on roadways across the country, particularly due to the size and weight of them. While a wide range of factors can contribute to an accident involving a commercial truck, one of the biggest problems is truck driver fatigue. To combat this and reduce the number of accidents caused by fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), implemented hours of service regulations to limit the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to be on the road.
Read on to learn more about hours of service regulations for large commercial trucks:
- Hours of Service: Truck drivers are permitted to drive up to 11 hours, with limitations, during a 14-hour period. They must start the 7-day period after spending 34 consecutive hours off and each period should start with at least 10 hours off-duty. Additionally, drivers are not permitted to work more than 60 hours in 7 days. In theory, these regulations should help prevent truck drivers from spending long periods of time on the road without any sleep, but unfortunately, these regulations are often disregarded and violated.
- Violations of Hours of Service Regulations: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), truck drivers who continue to drive for more than 8 hours are twice as likely to be involved in a traffic collision. It was also revealed in interviews conducted by the IIHS that driver logbooks are often falsified and referred to as “comic books” by truckers, given how easy it is to falsify information.
- Penalties for Violations: Both drivers and carriers can face severe penalties for violating hours of service regulations. These penalties include being placed out of service until enough off-duty time has been accumulated, steep fines, a downgraded safety rating, and possible criminal penalties for carriers who knowingly and willfully permit or require drivers to violate hours of service regulations.
- Determining Violations: If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a fatigued driver who violated the hours of service regulations, you will need a skilled attorney who has experience and ability to employ the necessary methods to investigate your case. While some violations are visibly apparent in the logbook, other logbooks will need to be examined to determine where alterations have been made. This involves comparing driver logs to dispatch logs, trip receipts, bills, or the number of miles stated in the logbook to the amount paid for miles driven.
Truck Accident Attorneys in Tulsa
Truck accidents are catastrophic for those involved and their families, but with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side, you can obtain the compensation you need during this difficult time. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, our team of Tulsa personal injury attorneys has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and will fight to do the same for you.
For the representation you deserve, contact our firm today at (918) 347-6456 and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced member of our team!