One of the most common causes of truck accidents is fatigued or drowsy driving. Commercial truck drivers face intense pressure from their employers to meet tight deadlines, pushing them to drive when they are over-tired.
When our truck accident lawyers in Sacramento take a case involving a commercial vehicle, we check to see if the driver was violating federal or state hours of service (HOS) regulations at the time of the crash. These rules set limits on the number of consecutive hours a driver can spend behind the wheel before he or she must take a break.
If your truck accident was caused by a violation of these rules, it may help prove that the driver was at fault and support a case for fair compensation for your damages.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has separate hours of service regulations for property-carrying drivers and passenger-carrying drivers.
The FMCSA sets the following regulations on the number of consecutive hours these drivers can operate their vehicles:
Drivers carrying passengers must follow these hours of service regulations:
Exceptions to the FMCSA rules are California’s transportation industry regulations. Under these laws, transportation employees, such as truck drivers, are generally entitled to one 30-minute meal break for every five hours they work. They are also entitled to a 10-minute rest break for every four hours they work.
Congress has introduced legislation that would allow federal regulations to take precedence over California’s rules. This would mean drivers would get a rest break only after eight consecutive hours of driving.
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by some form of negligence, an injury attorney from our law firm may be able to obtain compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation today to review your situation. We will not charge legal fees unless we obtain the compensation for your case.