Drivers in the trucking industry must follow state and federal rules which can help prevent truck accidents. Victims of truck accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries, which is why they need to be aware of personal injury legal protections that may be able to protect them if they have been harmed by a negligent truck driver.
Hours of service
One type of regulation governing the trucking industry is known as “hours of service.” The U.S. Department of Transportation has a series of requirements about how long truck drivers can be on the road at one time, when they must take breaks, how long these breaks must be, and so on. Professional truck drivers must follow these rules. If they do not, they may be considered negligent and liable for the injuries and harm they cause. In many cases, the driver’s employer may also be held liable.
For commercial truck drivers who are only carrying property, and not passengers, within a 14-hour workday, they are limited to a maximum of 11 driving hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
In addition to the above limits, truck drivers are limited to driving 60 or 70 hours in a period of 7 or 8 days respectively on duty. Truck drivers are also required to take rest breaks. Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break when they have driven for 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption in that period of time. The break must be 30 consecutive minutes.
There are some additional requirements, and also exceptions, that truck drivers should be familiar with and those impacted by truck accidents may also benefit from being aware of. When truck driver negligence, such as a violation of hours of service regulations or other types of negligence, has led to a truck accident, a personal injury claim for damages may be able to help injured victims with the physical, financial and emotional suffering brought on by a truck accident.