Truckers usually drive much more than the normal drivers do. They have to drive long distances at a stretch without taking any break. Sometimes they will have to travel across the states to deliver some goods. It is highly possible for a person who drives for 10 to 14 hours to get fatigued and this can lead to accidents on the road. These accidents can be very detrimental considering the huge size of the truck. It may even lead to the death of someone.
Regulations On The Working Time
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put some regulations concerning the working hours of the truckers to ensure that they get proper rest and are not over stressed and restless due to the work. The goal of these regulations is to ensure the safety of the trucker as well the other people and vehicles on the road.
The basic regulations concerning the truck drivers are on the time limit they are supposed to drive at a stretch. There is a 14-hour limit and an 11-hour limit. The additional three hours include the time used for filling gas, break times etc. Drivers are supposed to take a break of 10 hours before they start on their next journey. In majority of the truck accidents, the failure to keep these rules causes the accident.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries from a truck accident and if it is noticed that the driver previously had the history of violating the hours of service rule, your truck accident attorney can help you to use it as an evidence for past negligence of the trucker. This argument can be strong if you can prove that the trucking company had failed to give appropriate punishment to the truck driver for his negligence before.
Possible Penalties For The Drivers
The main penalty will be that the trucker will be asked to be off-duty until he completes his off duty time. The law enforcement officials may impose a fine on the trucker. Sometimes a civil penalty will be demanded of the driver or carrier. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will do this and the amount may range from $1000 to $11,000. Also the downgrading of the safety rating of the carrier can happen as a result of this. If it is found that the carriers and their drivers knowingly violate the regulations, criminal penalties will be imposed on them.
If you have suffered damages from a truck accident, it will be in your best interests to seek the help of an experienced truck accident attorney to know if the accident was caused by driver fatigue which resulted from the violation of the hours of service regulations.