Drowsy or tired driving is a danger to all motorists, regardless of the vehicles they operate. Exhaustion and fatigue are causes of preventable accidents in Louisiana and throughout the country. When large trucks and commercial vehicles are involved, the results of drowsy driving accidents can be devastating.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates how long commercial drivers may operate their rigs and passenger vehicles without taking breaks to rest. This informational post does not provide legal advice. It may be discussed with truck accident attorneys by those who have suffered losses in truck collisions.
Hours of service for commercial drivers
The monotony of driving on highways and freeways can be taxing on all drivers, but commercial drivers spend days of their lives driving their hauls to distant destinations. When they become fatigued, they can easily lose control of their rigs and put themselves and others at risk of injury or death. Government regulations mandate that they take breaks and record those breaks to stay rested and safe.
For example, drivers of large commercial non-passenger vehicles like 18-wheelers may not drive more than 11 hours after taking 10 hours off to rest. Passenger-carrying drivers may operate up to 10 hours after 8 hours off. These timetables can be extended slightly in inclement weather.
Hours of service violations and accidents
Drivers who disobey hours of service rules can be sanctioned for their actions. When violating drivers cause accidents due to their drowsiness or inattention, they and the companies that employ them may hold liability for the victims’ losses. Every truck accident case is different and personal injury attorneys can support their clients’ individual needs.
Truck accidents are violent, damaging events. Truck and commercial drivers who breach their duties of care to other motorists create devastating consequences for victims and their families. Compensation may be available to victims through legal actions.