Each day throughout Southern California, large commercial vehicles are involved in truck accidents. The reasons for commercial truck accidents are as varied as the injuries they cause. Improperly loaded cargos, poor truck maintenance and hazardous road conditions all contribute to the likelihood an accident will occur. The most common cause of truck accidents however, is driver negligence.
Speeding, driving while impaired, or distracted driving are a few ways a commercial truck driver can be negligent, but frequently it is driver fatigue that causes tuck accidents. In order to lower the risk associated with driver fatigue, federal law limits the number of hours a driver can operate a commercial truck each day.
Federal Rules Regulate the Hours a Commercial Truck Driver Can Work
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set “hours of service” rules that most commercial truck drivers must follow. The maximum number of hours a driver can operate a commercial truck is 11 hours per day. In addition, a driver’s workweek is limited to 70 hours of driving, with a mandatory 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. If a driver reaches the maximum hours before the end of the week, he can only resume work after he rests for 34 consecutive hours, including two nights of sleep.
Adhering to these standards is important in preventing tired drivers from getting behind the wheel of a commercial truck.
Drivers and Trucking Companies are Accountable for Accidents Caused by Fatigued Truck Drivers
Truck drivers owe a duty to others on the road to avoid risky behavior. Trucking companies, however, are motivated by profit rather than safety and often incentivize drivers to work past the federally set hours. A driver facing this pressure, or paid by the mile, may agree to ignore the mandated limits.
A tired truck driver is a risk to everyone on the road. A person who is injured by a fatigued commercial truck driver has a legal right to compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages.
A personal injury attorney with experience in truck accident cases will be able to determine if fatigue was to blame for the accident. He will immediately obtain and examine log books, GPS data, and the truck’s black box data. If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, you should consult with an attorney to protect your rights.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Truck Accident Attorney to Assist with Your Claim
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Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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