Trucks are important to the Texas economy and the American economy as a whole, but there are strict regulations regarding how long a person can be behind the wheel of one of these vehicles. When a truck driver experiences fatigue, he or she is more likely to cause an accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put regulations in place that limit how many subsequent hours a trucker can drive. Despite regulations, many truckers and trucking companies ignore these standards and continue to drive past the allotted number of hours. This comes from pressure to deliver loads faster and secure payment upon delivery.
Regulations regarding hours of service
Truck drivers may feel the temptation to drive for too long for many reasons. Hours of service regulations are in place to reduce the frequency of fatigue-related accidents. When a trucker is tired, he or she is more likely to drive recklessly, make mistakes and experience delayed reactions. The rules regarding the permissible number of hours a truck can be on the road are as follows:
- After 10 consecutive hours off duty, a person can drive for a maximum of 11 subsequent hours.
- A trucker cannot operate a truck past the fourteenth hour after coming off duty.
- A trucker must adhere to rules regarding the frequency and duration of rest stops and sleep stops.
The hours of service regulations listed above pertain to truckers who operate cargo trucks. The regulations and specific number of hours can differ for drivers operating vehicles with passengers.
Because of the large size and heavy weight of semitrailer vehicles, truck accidents tend to result in serious damage and injury. The men and women who operate these trucks have the responsibility of ensuring that they adhere to all safety regulations and drive safely around smaller vehicles.
The rights of truck accident victims
If you are the victim of a truck accident caused by a driver who was fatigued, reckless or negligent, you have the right to seek appropriate compensation for your losses. Through a personal injury claim against the liable party, you may be able to recover expenses related to your accident, including medical bills, lost wages from missed work and more.
A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand the specific options available to you. After an accident involving a semitrailer, it is beneficial to take quick action to secure the help you need in order to preserve important evidence and start building a strong claim.