Truck drivers have a significant responsibility to themselves and all others on the road. They keep everyone safe when they follow regulations, including the Hours of Service rules that dictate how long a truck driver can work or drive before he or she must take a break.
These regulations are in place for the safety of all individuals on the road: you, other drivers, and the truck driver. Unfortunately, when a driver violates the Hours of Service regulation, it results in drowsy driving accidents and can lead to significant harm.
What is the Hours of Service Regulation?
The Hours of Service regulation determines how long truck drivers in passenger-carrying big rigs and property-carrying semi-trucks can work and drive before they must take a break. Depending on the type of cargo (passenger or property), truck drivers cannot exceed 14 or 15 hours of work.
Passenger-carrying drivers cannot work more than 15 hours, and they may not drive more than 10 hours without taking an 8-hour off-duty period. Property-carrying drivers can only work 14 hours, but they can drive for 11 hours within that time if they’re coming off a 10-hour off-duty period.
How Bad is Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving can be just as damaging as drunk driving. The constant battle to stay awake can cause truck drivers to experience a decrease in focus, slower reaction time, and more. Drowsy drivers don’t have the same decision-making abilities they do while they are fully awake.
Whenever a truck driver is drowsy, he or she can cause a large collision. Drowsy driving is a negligent act, and the driver may be subject to a lawsuit. If you suffer injuries, you can hold the driver accountable and potentially the trucking company if they encourage the driver to work beyond the Hours of Service regulation.
At The Stewart Law Firm, our Austin truck accident attorneys are ready to help you. We’ll investigate the potential causes of your injuries and work to hold the liable parties accountable. Let us be your guide throughout the entire process.
Call us today at (512) 942-2372.