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Commercial truck drivers have to follow very strict guidelines set forth by federal and state regulators. One of the most important regulations involves the hours of service. Truck drivers are limited when it comes to how many hours they can operate their vehicles each day and throughout each workweek. We want to discuss why hours of service requirements are crucial to combating truck driver fatigue. We also want to discuss how truck driver fatigue can lead to severe accidents and why this can affect a commercial truck accident claim.
Nobody should operate a vehicle while fatigued. This includes those behind the wheel of traditional passenger vehicles as well as those operating commercial vehicles in California. However, operating a large semi-truck while fatigued is incredibly dangerous. These vehicles can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, which means that a crash often results in significant injuries and property damage.
The reality is that the very nature of a truck driver’s job leads to increased risks of fatigued driving. This can be due to:
Operating a vehicle while fatigued can slow down a truck driver’s reaction times. Fatigued drivers may fail to notice changing roadway conditions or traffic conditions. A tired truck driver can even fall asleep behind the wheel.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating the hours of service for truck drivers. In general, drivers of commercial trucks in this country are only allowed to operate a certain amount of hours each day and during the workweek. The FMCSA requirements are as follows:
Proving an hours of service violation can be challenging, but it is crucial if a large truck crash occurs. Fatigued driving is a leading cause of accidents involving large commercial trucks. Any person injured in a truck accident needs to work with a skilled lawyer who can conduct an independent investigation into these cases. There are various types of evidence that can be gathered to prove that a truck driver was fatigued at the time that a crash occurred. This can include:
A truck accident lawyer in Orange County will gather all the evidence necessary to help prove liability for these incidents. They will also engage in all negotiations with insurance carriers and trucking companies to help ensure that their client recovers the compensation they are entitled to.