After an hour or two behind the wheel, you may find yourself starting to feel fatigued. This may help you understand how taxing it can be for those whose jobs require them to be on the road for several consecutive hours (such as truck drivers).
A drowsy driver is a dangerous driver, and even though truck drivers are highly trained, they are subject to the same fatigue behind the wheel that you feel. Thus, after a truck accident, you might justly question whether the driver that hit you was experiencing fatigue.
Understanding hours-of-service regulations
Federal lawmakers recognize the need to avoid having drowsy truck drivers on the road. For this reason, strict hours-of-service regulations are in place that mandate how long a truck driver can be behind the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these include:
- Prohibiting truck drivers from driving more than 60-70 during a 7-8 day work week
- Prohibiting truck drivers from driving more than 11 hours during a single shift
- Prohibiting truck drivers from driving more than eight consecutive hours without a break
- Prohibiting truck drivers from driving beyond the fourteenth consecutive hours after having come on duty
These regulations apply to call vehicles with a gross vehicular weight over 10,001 pounds or vehicles transporting hazardous materials in amounts that require the use of placards. Only in certain situations will lawmakers suspend these regulations (such as during a national emergency).
Determining if the truck driver that hit you was drowsy
Certain factors may imply that the trucker that hit you was likely driving drowsy at the time (such as the accident occurring in the late night or early morning hours). You can verify this, however, by asking to review the work logs that truck drivers must maintain that detail their hours behind the wheel.