Slow reaction time, poor psychometric coordination, reduced alertness—the effects of fatigue on a driver’s performance are similar to those of alcohol. The Hours of Service (HoS) Regulations were introduced to prevent drowsy-driving accidents in the commercial trucking industry by limiting the number of hours drivers can spend behind the wheel. Tragically, many truckers violate HoS Regulations to boost their income or speed up delivery times. Fatigue contributes to nearly 13 percent of large truck accidents in the United States, many of which result in catastrophic injuries.
If you were injured or lost a family member in a semi-truck wreck, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Our New York City truck accident lawyers will investigate your case to determine if the truck driver violated HoS Regulations or other traffic laws before your collision. We will help you gather the evidence needed to prove your claim and fight for the maximum payout possible. Call us today for a free consultation.
For your claim to be successful, it must be shown that another party’s negligence caused your accident and you sustained an injury or loss as a result. Common examples of negligence in truck accident claims include speeding, making illegal turns, overloading the trailer, and breaking the Hours of Service Regulations.
If the driver who caused your accident did in fact violate the HoS Regulations, it is unlikely that he or she will fess up to the wrongdoing. This is why it is so important to hire a skilled truck accident attorney as soon as possible to investigate your case. The personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny will review the truck driver’s Hours of Service logbook, weigh station receipts, timestamped bills of lading, and the event data recorder (EDR), or “black box,” for evidence that the driver violated HoS rules or another law.
What Are the Hours of Service Regulations?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set the following guidelines in 2003:
- Drivers must take a break after driving 8 consecutive hours;
- Most commercial truckers can drive a maximum of 11 hours after spending 10 consecutive hours off duty;
- A single driving shift, including breaks and meals, cannot exceed 14 hours; and
- Truckers cannot drive more than 60 hours within a seven-day period or 70 hours within an eight-day period—the clock restarts if the driver spends 34 consecutive hours off duty.
Although these rules have undoubtedly reduced the number of fatigue-related truck accidents, drowsy driving is still alarmingly common in the commercial trucking industry. Pressure from employers, the desire to generate extra income, and falling behind schedule are common reasons for HoS violations, but there’s no excuse for putting other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in danger.
Discuss Your Case with a New York City Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
If you were injured in a truck wreck and you’re not sure how to proceed with your claim, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Our truck accident lawyers will prepare for your case as if we are going to trial, but our goal will be to get you fairly compensated as quickly as possible. Call us today for a free consultation.