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Truck Drivers Overextending Their Regulated Hourly Limits

Posted on in Personal Injury
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Lombard personal injury lawyersThe sheer volume of goods that traverse American highways to meet the demands of consumers, is nothing short of mind boggling. The people behind getting those truckloads of items to you are the masses of truck drivers, driving day and night to get products onto to store shelves expeditiously. And while it may seem relatively straightforward to get items loaded onto a truck, follow a GPS route, and unload boxes of items, there are regulations are in place to ensure a safe delivery.

Unfortunately, there are trucking companies who, along with their employed drivers, flout the rules, stretch the limits, and jeopardize the safety of those around them. A common breach are drivers who are driving for time periods beyond prescribed federal limits causing severe fatigue and, in many cases, crashes. If your loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an accident involving a truck and you suspect the truck driver was fatigued, contact a personal injury attorney to assist you.

Innocent Lives Cut Short

Drivers of commercial vehicles are subject to federal standards set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) If the gross weight exceeds 10, 001 pounds, hourly limits must also be observed.

The rationale behind the Hours of Service (HOS) rule is stated by the FMCSA as an effort on a “continuing basis to reduce the possibility of driver fatigue. Long daily and weekly hours are associated with an increased risk of crashes and with the chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep.”

The HOS put in place an 11- or 14-hour limit but only after a period of rest, namely 10 hours of rest. Also included during the driving hours is a mandatory 30-minute rest period. This is crucial for keeping drivers awake and alert. Fatigue notoriously sets in very subtly; drivers barely even notice that they are getting tired. Drifting into other lanes occurs and the reaction time to make the correction is that much longer. This puts others on the highway at great risk for a serious injury.

Additionally, in total, drivers are limited to 60 or 70 maximum hours on duty in 7 or 8 consecutive days respectively, after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

The US Department of Transportation notes that over four thousand crashes occur every year which are attributed to truck drivers driving to their death, tired and taking innocent lives with them as they cause carnage on the roads.

Compassionate Attorneys

Losing a loved one or having a family member suffering a serious, life-threatening injury is a stressful and anxious time. While you hope for a full recovery from injuries, many are not so fortunate. There is nothing worse than when loved one is killed in a preventable accident. Tired, exhausted truck drivers who have driven more hours that legally prescribed are causing horrible accidents. Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, can assist you with your personal injury claim. Compensation and restitution for death or serious injuries can at least help restore a level of normalcy to everyday life or as compensation for the loss of a loved one. Contact an experienced Lombard personal injury attorney to learn more today.

Sources:

https://cms.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/rulemaking/2011-32696

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service

https://www.transportation.gov/fastlane/why-we-care-about-truck-driver-fatigue

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