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Truck Accidents Caused by Tired Truck Drivers

Traffic accidents involving large commercial trucks – including tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers – produce some of the most horrific accidents on public roadways. As these commercial vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and because they are difficult to quickly maneuver or stop, truck accidents have also become notorious for high rates of injuries, catastrophic injuries, and fatalities.

As commercial trucks pose such overwhelming dangers to public safety, the federal government has made hundreds of strict trucking laws and regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is one of the primary government agencies responsible for regulating the trucking industry. The FMCSA enforces a wide range of laws and regulations with which all trucking companies and truck drivers must comply. These laws range from routine vehicle maintenance rules to strict truck driver DUI regulations.

Hours-of-Service Regulations and Trucking Accidents in San Jose

When it comes to safety regulations in the trucking industry, the FMCSA has focused on creating rules designed to reduce the risks created by tired truck drivers. These regulations are known as hours-of-service regulations. As driving tired has been considered as equally – or more – dangerous than driving drunk, the FMCSA has focused intently on enforcing these hours-of-service regulations and has even recently amended many of the regulations in place.

Hours-of-Service rules are in place for drivers of freight-carrying vehicles and drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles. Some notable rules include:

Property-Carrying Truck Drivers

  • 11 hours of driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • No driving after 14th consecutive hour on duty.
  • Mandatory rest break requirements.
  • Maximum hour limits in 7/8 day period.

Passenger-Carrying Truck Drivers

  • 10 hours of driving limit after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
  • No driving after 15 consecutive hours on duty.
  • Mandatory rest break requirements.
  • Maximum hour limits in 7/8 day period.

Although these laws can vary, they are all designed to ensure that no tired driver gets behind the wheel of a large truck or passenger carrying vehicle. When drivers or trucking companies fail to comply with these regulations and cause injuries, victims have every right to hold negligent drivers and trucking companies liable for their damages.

At the Law Offices of Caroline J. Nasseri, a compassionate and highly experienced San Jose truck accident lawyer is prepared to guide you through each stage of your personal injury claim process. As truck accident cases can be challenging and because trucking companies will often dispute claims, it is strongly recommended that victims and families work with proven legal representation as they fight for full and fair compensation.

Learn more about your case and rights by contacting a San Jose personal injury lawyer from our firm today. Call (408) 912-2217 to discuss your needs.