Hours of Service Violations by Trucking Companies
Drivers of 18-wheelers have a large responsibility when they are on roadways. According to this West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys website, due to their immense size and weight, accidents that may be a simple fender-bender with two regular size vehicles can become serious when a semi-truck is involved. One of the most common causes of truck accidents is truck driver error caused by fatigue. While there are laws in place to regulate the amount of hours a truck driver can work, many employers blatantly ignore them and overwork their truck drivers, leading to severe exhaustion that can cause unsafe driving behavior.
The federal laws that are in place to set the rules for truck driver hours are known as hours of service rules. These rules indicate that a truck driver can only drive 14 hours a day, with no more than 11 of those hours being consecutive. An hours of service violation occurs when a truck driver goes over the hourly limit or does not allow enough time in between shifts. Innocent drivers of the road can be put in danger when these laws are violated. Common risky driving behaviors caused by an overly tired truck driver include swerving on the road, not stopping in time for stop signs or stop lights, or failing to check blind spots before changing lanes. One of the most severe consequences that can occur is a truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel. When these actions are committed by a truck driver, the accidents that occur can be catastrophic. A collision between a regular vehicle and an 18-wheeler can cause serious injuries and even death.
While driving alongside 18-wheelers is a common occurrence, accidents involving them should not be. Thousands of people are put in danger when truck drivers take the wheel overly fatigued. Even worse, the accidents that occur as a result are often preventable if the company had simply followed the law.