One need only take one look at the massive semi-trucks so often seen driving in and around Los Angeles to determine that such vehicles might be difficult to handle. Truckers are typically quite skilled at controlling their vehicles, yet a number of factors can have an influence over one’s driving capabilities. Fatigue is certainly among them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsiness and fatigue were cited as the primary cause of over 72,000 car accidents in the U.S. in 2013. The CDC lists truck drivers as being among the groups most likely to experience fatigue while behind the wheel.
One can only imagine how great a threat a drowsy trucker might be to other motorists. Therefore, to combat the potential of such a threat, the federal government has imposed strict hours-of-service regulations on truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that these rules include:
- No driving for more than 11 hours after having spent 10 consecutive hours off duty
- No driving beyond the 14 consecutive hours after having spent 19 consecutive hours off duty
- No driving more than eight consecutive hours without taking a 30-minute break
- No driving more than 60/70 total hours across a 7/8 day work week
For a trucker to restart his or her workweek, he or she must take 34 consecutive hours off duty.
Motorists who have been in truck accidents can tell if the truckers who hit them were in violation of hours-of-service regulations. Truck drivers are required to maintain logs detailing their drive times whenever they are on the clock.