Recent years have seen more awareness aimed at the issue of drowsy driving. Those operating their vehicles on Houston’s roads after having had little sleep can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. If a driver sleeping behind the wheel of a standard car, truck or SUV poses a risk, imagine how much more dangerous a truck driver nodding off while driving a semi-truck can be. Several clients have come to see us here at The Alworth Law Firm PLLC after having been involved in truck accidents where they believed the truckers might have been literally asleep at the wheel. If you have been as well, then your question is likely the same as theirs: how can you prove it?
The federal government has established hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these are:
- Drivers may only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- Drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty
- Drivers may not drive more than eight hours without stopping to take a break of at least 30 minutes
- Drivers may not drive more than 60-70 over 7-8 consecutive days
For a driver to restart their 7-8 work week, they must take a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off.
Truck drivers are required to maintain logs detailing their hours of service. After having been involved in a truck accident, you should ask that these be reviewed. If said review reveals that the driver was not abiding by the hours-of-service regulations (or had not been keeping adequate records), you may have a strong claim for negligence.
You can learn more about trucking industry safety regulations by continuing to explore our site.