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Hours of Service Violations Causing Drowsy Driving Accidents

Commercial vehicles are highly regulated on our roadways. The reason for this? Commercial trucks are huge compared to motor vehicles and, when they occur, you are more likely to be seriously injured or even killed. This is why regulations exist – so that accidents can be prevented at all costs. There are special regulations known as Hours of Service (HOS) that put limits on how much time a truck can be on the roads every week. They do this as a way to prevent drowsy driving, which could lead to the most serious injuries on our roads. Here are some of the regulations:

  • Drivers are only permitted to drive up to 11 hours with limitations of 14 hours in a period
  • Drivers must start the 7-day period only after they have spent 34 consecutive hours off
  • Each period is supposed to start with at least 10 hours off-duty
  • Drivers are not permitted to work more than 60 hours in 7 days

Across the country, violations of hours of service are always being recorded. Those who violate the regulations face serious penalties, both driver and company. They could be placed out of service until they comply, receive fines, or have their safety ratings downgraded. Truck drivers’ regulations are 100% mandatory, which means that they must be complied with under all circumstances. If a federal or state safety law was not complied with, this is a strong confirmation of negligence, and a truck driver or company could be sued in a personal injury lawsuit.

Why HOS Keep Our Roads Safe 

Truck AccidentHOS regulations stop truck accidents in their tracks. The reason for this is because many studies have shown us that truck drivers who exceed these hour limits are more likely to drive carelessly. They may be more drowsy, less alert to their surroundings, and react more slowly to crisis situations. In some cases, it may all boil down to a company wanting their drivers to work overtime to complete more goals. For instance, some companies offer great incentives it truckers drive more miles – such as being paid extra per mile. However, even though this means an increase in money, it also means a decrease in safety. Many drivers are pressured through their companies to meet these goals to deliver on time.

Luckily, in our modern times, truck drivers must comply on a mandatory level, which means recording their duty status even 24 hours, including the amount of miles they have driven, the total hours they have put into their work, and inspections of their vehicles. Studies have shown us that anywhere from 25-75% of drivers violate the rules in some way.

When You Have Been Injured

Many cases of regulation violations are found out when an accident occurs due to drowsy driving by truck drivers. Lack of sleep is actually one of the most common causes of these accidents, leading to serious injuries every year in the U.S. If you have been injured in one of these accidents, you have options to bring a case against both a truck driver and their company, especially if negligence was involved. We are willing to help you get the most out of your case, including compensation for your injuries at the Accident Law Group. Call us today at 602-262-4254 so we can get a closer look at your case and help you through the difficult times.

Sources

https://www.thebalance.com/freight-trucking-dot-hours-1361484

https://www.justia.com/injury/motor-vehicle-accidents/truck-accidents/state-and-federal-regulations/