One of the major causes of truck accidents in California is drowsy driving. Such crashes often results in catastrophic injuries since the driver is unlikely to have control over the truck. On top of that, it is extremely challenging to prove drowsy driving cases since there are no objective tests to prove fatigue and drowsiness. Plus, truck drivers are unlikely to admit that they were behind the wheels for a long period of time.
When it comes to drunk driving, your truck accident attorney will be able to prove the liability easily by doing some tests to check the alcohol content in the blood of the defendant. To tackle this issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations have put forward some rules so that a truck wreck lawyer can prove liability easily in case of drowsy driving crashes as well.
Trucking rules to prevent drowsy driving
One of the major rules that were aimed at preventing collisions because of drowsy driving is the Hours of Service. According to this regulation, truck drivers are given an ultimatum regarding the time limit that they can spend behind the wheels. They are also expected to take mandated rest in between for a few hours. The regulation mainly imposes a number of limitations on the truck drivers who transport cargos in commercial trucks. A truck accident attorney can easily prove the liability by proving that the defendant failed to follow any of these rules. Some of those crucial rules include;
- The maximum hours a trucker can drive over the course of the day is 11
- A truck driver can be on duty only for 14 hours a day. In other words, a trucker must have 10 consecutive hours of off duty each day
- Usually, truck drivers are unlikely to spend their rest time in the trucks. However, if a driver has sleeper birth provision in his truck, they are expected to take advantage of it. According to the rule, the drivers must be on the sleeper birth for at least eight hours during their rest time.
- The long-haul truck drivers who often drive a lot are expected to take a mandated rest of minimum 30 minutes after driving the vehicle for consecutive 8 hours.
- When it comes to driving hours, the maximum limit a truck driver is allowed to drive over a seven-day and eight-day period is 60 hours and 70 hours respectively. Once a driver reaches the limit, he must take rest of at least 34 hours off duty
- Drivers who transport passengers will have to follow even stricter time limitations. Note that they can drive only up to 10 consecutive hours after which they will have to take rest at least 8 hours off duty