No one is immune from getting tired while behind the wheel. It happens to most people at some point -- even commercial drivers. In order to help prevent truck driver fatigue, there are federal regulations in place regarding how long commercial drivers can be out on the road and how often they have to take breaks. Despite these regulations, numerous trucking accidents in Maryland and all across the United States are the result of truck driver fatigue.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, hours of service rules have been set for all commercial vehicle operators. The rules vary somewhat depending on if a driver is hauling product or people. For those hauling product, the current regulations are:
- An 11-hour driving limit
- A 10-hour break between driving periods
- A 30-minute break within an 8-hour driving window
- A 34-hour restart after working 168 hours
Why does this information matter? Victims of trucking accidents or family members of those killed in trucking accidents may be able to use this information to seek compensation for their losses. One's legal counsel can look at a driver's log book in order to determine if that driver was in compliance with the hours of service rules. If he or she was not, that is deemed a negligent action which is needed to successfully litigate personal injury or wrongful death claims in civil court.
Regulations are in place to protect truck drivers, trucking companies and, most importantly, the general public. If truck drivers fail to follow these regulations, the consequences for them and their victims can be devastating. Maryland residents who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones in trucking accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers can turn to legal counsel for assistance seeking maximum relief for their losses.