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How Relevant is Truck Driver Fatigue to Accidents?

Posted on December 27th, 2014 by Admin

A major cause in truck accidents is truck driver fatigue.  When people are tired, they make mistakes, and this is true in any profession.  When trucking companies have tight delivery deadlines, drivers may violate hours of service rules, driving longer hours than allowed to make a deadline.  Because of the crucial importance of not driving while fatigued, civil penalties for hours and service violations can be severe.  One of the first things lawyers investigate when taking on an Atlanta trucking accident case is whether the driver had hours of service violations.

New changes in hours and service under federal law

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSA) recently issued final rules on changes in the hours of service regulations.  These rules went into effect at the end of February 2012.  As a general overview, here are some of the rules that truck drivers must adhere to:

For commercial vehicles carrying property —

  • There is an 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
  • Driving is forbidden after 60 or 70 hours on duty within seven or eight consecutive days
  • There is a mandatory 34 or more hours of consecutive off-duty hours between seven or eight day periods
  • Drivers with truck sleeper berths must take eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth plus two separate consecutive hours, either in the berth or off-duty or a combination of the two
  • Drivers who drive three or more hours beyond the hours of service limits are subject to maximum civil penalties

The more in-depth knowledge the firm has of trucking industry regulations, the better the firm can defend your rights in a truck accident case.

Discuss your Truck accident in a free consultation with a Trucking accident attorney at the Cochran Firm Atlanta.  Find out about your prospects for pursuing a case.

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If you are facing a legal issue and need help, please contact us. There is no fee or obligation for the first consultation.

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