Truckers make their living by driving; getting from point A to point B in time is a top priority. The hours are long and the trips can be grueling; there are inherent dangers that come with this occupation. In order to help keep truckers and other motorists safe, rules have been put in place that are intended to limit unsafe behaviors in the trucking industry.
One of the more significant set of rules has to do with preventing drowsy driving. The Hours of Service regulations were established to get truckers off the road and take mandatory breaks to combat fatigue. Unfortunately, there are truckers and trucking companies who violate these requirements.
The HOS regulations limit the number of hours a trucker can be on the road. They dictate when truckers must take a break and either go off duty or rest in their sleeper berths. Drivers who transport passengers are under stricter rules in terms of the hours they can be on the road and when they must rest. But generally speaking, truckers are not allowed to be on the road for more than 11 hours without taking sufficient rest breaks.
In order to establish compliance, truckers must record the hours when they are in a sleeper berth, off duty, on duty and driving in a logbook. These logbooks can be manual or electronic, but every driver is required to log their activity accurately.
To typical motorists, these HOS regulations can seem very complicated. But truckers are well aware of these regulations and they understand that they are expected to comply with them.
Unfortunately, there are truckers who are more interested in getting somewhere faster and they violate HOS regulations and falsify their logbooks. These drivers are at a higher risk of falling asleep behind the wheel or using dangerous substances to try and stay awake. This puts other people on the road in jeopardy because the trucker can be impaired.
Victims of a truck accident may not realize that an accident may have been caused by a trucker who has been on the road too long. But attorneys familiar with these crashes know what to look for and how to identify violations for which a truck driver and/or a trucking company may be held liable. In the event of negligent or reckless behaviors, victims can pursue compensation for damages suffered in an accident.