To maintain safe roadways for drivers, state and federal regulations require that drivers get adequate rest before and after driving long distances. Drivers who fail to follow hours of service rules are a hazard to themselves and to other motorists on the road. While any accident that involves exhausted drivers can be catastrophic, collisions involving semi-trucks can be even worse.
Attorney Brian Steed Tatum has years of experience in helping North Carolina and South Carolina’s injured drivers and their families in dealing with the devastating consequences of truck collisions. He puts his experience to work for each client to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers are required to follow hours of service rules if they drive a commercial motor vehicle. These rules govern when and for how long a truck driver may operate a semi-truck. These rules are in place to ensure that truck drivers obtain the required amount of rest needed to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
According to these rules, truck drivers can work a maximum of 14 hours per day. During this workday, a driver can only drive a maximum of 11 hours. They must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours prior to the start of their next shift. They cannot drive after being on duty for 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.
Drivers are required by federal laws to record their driving information in their driver’s logs. These logs track the driver’s record of duty status. These logs must cover all 24 hours and must be current to the last change of duty status. If the logs are missing or if they are inaccurate, there are other documents available to determine when and where deliveries were picked up or made by a driver. These documents can help determine whether the driver violated the hours of service rules.
Trucking companies must monitor the actual hours of service of all its drivers. If a driver has been keeping inaccurate logs and a trucking company has allowed this to happen repetitively, the trucking company may have exposed itself to liability in an accident caused by driver fatigue. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drivers to go beyond the hours of service rules in order to meet pick-up or delivery deadlines.
When trucking companies encourage drivers to cut corners, or drivers decide to push themselves a little bit more in order to meet tight deadlines or make a few extra dollars, the results can be devastating. Drivers without the proper rest who operate commercial vehicles risk slower reactions in emergency situations and poor decision making that can cause serious accidents.
Sometimes, it may not be immediately apparent if a driver has accurately recorded his or her hours of service. The Tatum Law Firm has experience in investigating driver’s logs and detecting inaccuracies. We know the effects of truck accidents, and we have years of experience in litigating and representing clients who have been involved in commercial vehicle or truck accidents. Our experienced truck accident attorney, Brian Steed Tatum, will manage your case and pursue your claim in order to ensure that you are justly compensated.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident where you believe that a violation of hours of service rules contributed or caused the accident, please contact our office for assistance at (704) 307-4350 or online for a free case evaluation.