The economic health of our country heavily depends on the trucking industry, however, the massive size of trucks as compared to cars makes crashes particularly severe, often leading to life-threatening or fatal injuries.
Commercial truck drivers must undergo extensive training and follow specific rules and regulations to prevent avoidable accidents. When they cause collisions because they fail to meet their legal obligations, injured parties may seek damages through civil action with help from a seasoned personal injury attorney. A Metairie truck accident lawyer could answer your questions and help with a case when you are hurt.
Reasons Truck Crashes Occur
Truck crashes can happen for many of the same reasons as any other collisions, and some of the most common causes include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Equipment failure or defective vehicle parts
- Inadequate training or experience behind the wheel
- Operating the vehicles while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Neglecting to check blind spots thoroughly before making maneuvers
- Operating the truck with distractions such as cell phones or while eating food or drinking beverages
A Metairie truck crash attorney could collect essential evidence to determine how the incident happened and the driver’s actions before it occurred.
Trucker Hours Behind the Wheel Limitations
Truckers work under stressful deadlines from their employers, the companies they transport cargo for, and the companies that handle loading the cargo for them. Because of this, many drivers used to drive while they were exhausted, which was unsafe for them and everyone around them on the road. After finding many collisions involving large commercial trucks involved fatigued truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the federal Department of Transportation established regulations for the maximum time they can operate trucks in a shift and work week.
Summary of Hours of Service Rules
Federal and state regulations give clear guidance on the time truckers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may work in a shift or week. The Summary of Hours of Service Regulations says truckers carrying cargo may operate the vehicle for 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off the clock. Federal rules also require them to take a break for at least 30 minutes after working eight hours in a shift.
The maximum time behind the wheel for truckers working seven days a week is 60 hours, and 70 hours for eight-day workweeks. Truck drivers usually have an electronic logging device to keep track of time, but if it is not working correctly, they must use a handwritten book to log their hours behind the wheel.
Failure to adhere to the regulations could result in monetary penalties and affect their commercial driver’s license. It could also be used as evidence to establish liability when collisions occur. A truck accident lawyer in Metairie could collect evidence, such as printouts from the logging device, to determine if the driver complied with regulations before the collision.
Call a Seasoned Truck Accident Attorney in Metairie Today
Truckers who operate commercial vehicles play a vital role in the economy’s health, but the massive size of their trucks requires careful and diligent operation to keep themselves and everyone around them safe from harm. You could be eligible for compensation when a negligent trucker caused an accident and you sustained physical harm and property damages. Call a hard-working and knowledgeable Metairie truck accident lawyer to schedule a consultation and review your case and options.