How Truck Driver Fatigue Leads to Accidents

Accidents involving commercial trucks are some of the most devastating that occur on the road and often cause debilitating injuries that affect a person’s life forever. Most of these accidents are preventable, especially given the strict rules and regulations that are imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the trucking industry. Unfortunately, these rules are frequently broken and, as a result, accidents happen. Among the rules that are most regularly broken are those that dictate how many hours truckers are allowed to drive consecutively, without rest. Without enough rest, however, truck drivers become extremely fatigued, impairing their judgment and ability to drive safely.

The Hours of Service Rules

According to the FMCSA, truck drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours in a row after taking 10 consecutive hours off, but must not go beyond the 14th hour. Additionally, drivers cannot be on duty for more than 60 hours in a single week or more than 70 hours in 8 days. In an attempt to dissuade drivers from breaking these rules, the FMCSA also requires drivers to keep a log book for every 24-hour period of service. Furthermore, the trucking company that employs them must ensure their drivers are maintaining a log book.

Penalties for Violating the Hours of Service Rules

Violating the hours of service rules is a serious offense and drivers and trucking companies that violate them are heavily penalized. Some of the penalties for violating the hours of service rules include:

  • The truck driver might be removed from service until enough off-duty time is accumulated.
  • Both local and state law enforcement officials could fine the truck driver.
  • Additionally, the FMCSA could charge a civil penalty on the driver or the carrier. The cost of this could range anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000, per violation, depending on the severity.
  • The safety rating for the carrier could be downgraded if there appears to be a pattern of violations.
  • The carrier could potentially face federal criminal penalties if they or their drivers willingly and knowingly chose to violate the hours of service regulations.

Truck Accident Attorney in Phoenix

If you were injured in a truck accident due to negligence and a failure to obey the trucking industry’s rules, you need a skilled legal attorney on your side to secure the compensation you deserve and need during this difficult time. At Rafi Law Group, our experienced truck accident attorney will fight to hold the responsible parties liable for their reckless actions.

Get started on your case today and call our office at (623) 207-1555 to schedule your free initial case evaluation. You will not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case!

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