Literally thousands of big-rig trucks traverse the nation’s highways each day. And each day, a tragic accident involving a big-rig truck occurs somewhere – either here in Tennessee or along one of the numerous routes throughout the United States.
Driver fatigue from long hours of driving can certainly be attributed as a cause for many truck accidents.
We all know how driving long distances can be tiring. Even though you’re just sitting, there’s something about long road trips that can drain a person.
Considering that truckers drive long distances on a regular basis, the government instituted rules to limit the number of hours someone can spend behind the wheel. Rules were first instituted way back in 1939 but have been revised several times since then. These rules were put in place because driver fatigue is considered to be one of the highest causes of truck accidents in the U.S.
Currently, a single driver can only drive for a maximum of 11 hours in a 14-hour work day. After 11 hours, the driver must get off the road and take a break for a minimum of 10 hours. In one week, a truck can be on the road for 60-77 hours. Even though there are rules in place limiting the number hours a trucker is driving, many disregard the rule.
Some drivers disregard the rule on their own while some are ordered to by the company they’re driving for.
All truck drivers are required to maintain a log detailing when they started driving and when they stopped. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a big-rig truck, the driver log will be an important piece of evidence.
Below are criteria for determining if a driver falls under the “hours of service” rule:
- Truck weighs more than 10,000 pounds
- Truck has a gross vehicle rating or gross combination weight rating of over 10,000 pounds
- Truck is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (…w/o compensation)
- Truck is designed or used for transporting 9 or more passengers (…w/compensation)
- Trucks carrying hazardous materials that require a placard
Any driver meeting these criteria must observe the 11-hour limit.
If they don’t, they put all other drivers on the road at risk.
Have you been involved in an accident with a large truck? If so, was driver fatigue a factor in the crash?
If you have been involved in a wreck a big-rig trucker that was driving well past the legal limit, you certainly have grounds to obtain compensation from the driver and the company he’s driving for.
To discuss your case, contact truck accident lawyers in Knoxville today for a free consultation.