Commercial trucks are massive machines. When fully loaded, 18-wheelers and semi-trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Because they are constantly sharing roads and highways with smaller passenger vehicles and because they are slow to stop and maneuver, commercial trucks are considered a serious threat to public safety. Often, truck accidents result in some of the most devastating traffic accidents.
As truck accidents result in high rates of personal injury and wrongful death, there are numerous laws and regulations surrounding the trucking industry and the conduct of truck drivers. All of these laws are designed to reduce rates of preventable accidents. Regulations known as Hours-of-Service Rules are designed specifically to reduce risks created by tired or fatigued drivers.
Studies have found that driving tired can be as dangerous – if not more so – than driving drunk. When a tired driver is behind the wheel of a large commercial truck, risks for accidents and injuries increase. In order to directly address this risk, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – a subsidiary of the Department of Transportation – enforces a number of regulations. Some of these Hours-of-Service Rules include:
- Limitations on consecutive hours drivers can be on duty.
- Restrictions on hours drivers are permitted to be behind the wheel.
- Requirements for rest periods and time off duty.
- Regulations for hours worked in 7/8 consecutive days.
At Santa Barbara Injury Law Group, our legal team focuses on conducting thorough investigations into determining the cause of a truck accident. By securing trucking company records, we can see if truck drivers or trucking companies committed any Hours-of-Service violations or use any evidence to support a claim that a driver was tired and overworked at the time of an accident.
Our Santa Barbara truck accident lawyers are committed to helping injured victims and families through tough times and the challenges of filing a personal injury claim. If you or your loved one has recently been injured in a truck accident, call (805) 793-0227 for a free consultation.