According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver fatigue is the seventh leading cause of trucking accidents. Our attorneys at Springer & Lyle are also concerned about the serious injuries that can occur when a fatigued truck driver is on the road.
FMCSA Fatigue Prevention Requirements
In 2018 on Texas roadways, at least one person was killed every day in a vehicular crash. In 2017 across the nation, 4,761 people were killed in accidents with large trucks. More than 4,300 truck drivers were severely injured, and thousands of more people in other vehicles were injured in those accidents. The FMCSA considers the problem of truck drivers continuing to drive even though fatigued as so serious, it has issued regulations designed to decrease the number of truck driver fatigue-caused accidents. Truck drivers must keep a log that shows they complied with the regulations.
Some established requirements for truck drivers who are carry property are:
- Drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours in any 24-hour period and only after they have had 10 consecutive hours off duty and have taken at least one 30-minute break during the 11 hours of driving.
- Drivers are limited to driving 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. If they take 34 consecutive hours off duty, they can restart the time. The 34-hour rest period must include two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
- Drivers are limited to 14 consecutive hours of duty, which includes time spent in maintenance of the truck, loading and unloading, and completing paperwork that goes along with the jobs.
The motor carrier is charged with making sure its drivers comply with the regulations and keep an accurate driving and resting log. The FMCSA specifically says: “Carriers are liable for the actions of their employees. Neither intent to commit, nor actual knowledge of, a violation is a necessary element of that liability. Carriers permit’ violations of the hours of service regulations by their employees if they fail to have in place management systems that effectively prevent such violations.”
If you were injured in an accident with a truck that may have involved a fatigued driver, or someone you love was killed by such a driver, the personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation you are entitled for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.