How Long Can Truck Drivers Drive Before Having to Take a Break?
One of the most frustrating and heartbreaking elements of truck crash accidents is that they are so frequently completely preventable. When tractor trailers and other commercial trucks are involved in accidents with passenger vehicles, it is the car passengers who most frequently get injured, or even killed. There are many reasons why truck accidents happen, including driver distraction, failure to adhere to driving regulations, poor maintenance of the truck or improper loading of the trailer, and careless driving. One of the most common reasons why truck accidents occur is that drivers operate their vehicles far beyond the time limits that the law imposes. All of these are examples of negligence, and can lead to the driver or the company that employs them being held legally responsible for the damage that is caused. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we are passionate about holding negligent trucking companies accountable.
There are very specific rules and regulations regarding the hours of service that a truck driven by a single driver is permitted to be on the road. The maximum number of continuous hours that a truck driver is allowed to drive is eleven continuous hours within a 14-hour work day. Once they have driven eleven hours, they are required to rest for a minimum of ten hours before they get behind the wheel again. Further, the regulations limit the amount of time that a truck driven by a single driver is allowed to be on the road within a seven-day period: that limit is between 60 and 77 hours depending upon a number of variations, or between 70 and 88 hours over an eight-day period.
One of the best ways for a driver to ensure that they do not exceed the driver hour limitations is to take a full two-and-a-half days off from driving: once they do this, they reset their driving clock to zero and are able to start driving again. That being said, there is good reason for drivers and the companies that employ them to go beyond the regulations and ensure that they are well rested so that they are able to drive their enormous, powerful vehicles responsibly.
Though the trucking industry has objected strenuously to these regulations, many drivers have acknowledged the need for them. More importantly, many families have suffered as a result of drivers and companies that have ignored them and gotten into accidents that have caused grievous injuries and death.
Victims of truck accidents that have resulted from drivers operating their vehicles beyond the established hours of service regulations need aggressive, knowledgeable legal representation. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we are committed to providing victims with compassionate, experienced legal counsel aimed at getting them the compensation that they need and deserve. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.