Truck accidents happen for several reasons, such as distracted driving and dangerous road conditions. However, many truck crashes also result from deliberate violations of hours-of-service violations.
Understanding hours of service regulations
Truck drivers can only operate vehicles a certain number of hours in a day and a week. Under California’s hours-of-service guidelines for intrastate trips, truck drivers cannot:
- Drive for more than 12 hours
- Work for more than 16 hours, driving or not
- Work more than 80 hours in any consecutive eight-day period
The rules also require drivers to take ten hours off duty before they start a new work period and 34 hours off duty before they start a new consecutive eight-day work period.
Separate hours of service rules apply for interstate trips in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines.
Violations leading to truck accidents
The purpose of the hours-of-service regulations is to keep fatigued and overworked drivers off the roads. Many cases of heavy truck crashes are due to drivers failing to stay awake and alert due to fatigue, which could have been prevented by following the hours-of-service rules.
Violations of these regulations can result in severe injuries or fatalities, potentially leading to legal repercussions.
What you should do in a fatigue-caused truck accident
If you acquired injuries in a truck accident, it is best to review the facts and circumstances of your situation and explore your options before making your claim. This can help you avoid insurance companies taking advantage of your vulnerability and preparing yourself for trial, if the need comes to that.