Trucking Accidents and Hours of Service Violations
By Michael Verna on May 30, 2018
There are roughly half a million truck accidents in the United States each year. Due to the large size and heavy weight of commercial trucks, most truck accidents result in catastrophic personal injuries and costly property damage. Sadly, around 10 percent of truck accidents result in death.
Because truck accidents are recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as a serious risk to drivers and passengers on the road, there are regulations in place to monitor commercial trucking practices, including hours of service.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these rules to be violated. Trucking accidents and hours of service violations have impacted many in San Francisco, CA and the Bay Area, resulting in injury-causing truck accidents. Victims of truck accidents related to hours of service violations can work with the experienced attorneys at Bowles & Verna, LLP to get the financial compensation they are due for damages.
Hours of Service Regulations
There have long been regulations in place to limit the hours of service that can be provided by commercial truck drivers. However, in 2013, those regulations were tightened even further in an attempt to reduce the overwhelming number of annual truck accidents.
Following are some of the current hours of service regulations:
- Truck drivers carrying property can drive for no more than 11 hours at a time, and drivers carrying passengers can drive for no more than 10 hours at a time
- Truck drivers carrying property must be off-duty for a minimum of 10 hours between shifts, while those carrying passengers must be off-duty for a minimum of 8 hours
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of a shift
- Drivers may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour of being on duty
Hours of service violations are a leading cause of driver fatigue, and a huge contributing factor in many truck accidents. Sadly, many trucking companies place unrealistic expectations on drivers and go so far as to encourage them to ignore regulations.
Although drivers are required to keep a log of their hours of service, these documents can be falsified. In one survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one-third of truck drivers interviewed admitted to omitting driving hours from their logbooks.
Considering how easy it is to conceal hours of service violations, it is important for victims of trucking accidents to have an experienced attorney on their side when working to prove liability for the accident. The experienced attorneys at Bowles & Verna, LLP will gather the evidence necessary to prove violations, even if logbooks have been falsified. They will gather evidence such as cell phone records, toll booth receipts and recordings, purchase receipts, and data from the vehicle’s black box.
With our expertise and resources, we can prove liability so that our clients receive the maximum compensation they are due for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you have been involved in a truck accident that you suspect was caused by hours of service violations, contact the experienced attorneys at Bowles & Verna, LLP to learn more about your legal options. Our truck accident attorneys are prepared to fight on your behalf to ensure you receive the financial compensation you are due for damages.