It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that driver fatigue is a major contributing factor for many truck accidents in Mississippi. These truckers are behind the wheel for hours on end, and despite their training, they are human. The human mind can only stay awake for so long before a number of debilitating influences start to emerge. What is Mississippi doing to address this problem? How many hours can a trucker stay behind the wheel before they are legally forced to take a break?
These questions are important, but for injury victims the answers are meaningless. These individuals have already suffered serious injuries due to trucking negligence, and some of these injuries were directly caused by driver fatigue. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you should reach out to a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These legal professionals can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that you achieve justice and strive towards a substantial settlement.
The Department of Transportation decides how long a trucker can drive before they need to take a break. This federal agency has created a number of regulations that govern this area of trucking law, and the laws can seem quite complex. The general rules are as follows:
- Each workweek is a 168-hour segment
- This workweek “resets” after precisely seven full days
- Truckers can work for a maximum of 60 hours over the workweek
- Truckers can only be on duty for 14 consecutive hours
- After 14 consecutive hours, drivers must be off-duty for 10 hours
- Of these 14 on-duty hours, only 11 can be spent driving
- The 14-hour period is not lengthened by taking breaks and stops
- Over the course of one workweek, drivers must take 34 consecutive hours off
- Of these 34 consecutive hours, two periods must span from 1 AM to 5 AM
- As soon as this period of 34 consecutive hours is over, the 168-hour workweek resets
With all that said, there are certain exceptions to these regulations. The first is the “16-Hour Exception.” This states that if a driver is on a one-day work schedule, they can be on duty for a maximum of 16 hours (not the usual 14). However, drive time is still limited to 11 hours. In addition, the 16-hour exception cannot be used in conjunction with layovers. Once drivers take advantage of this exception, they cannot do so again until their 34-hour reset.
In addition, a driver can stay behind the wheel for an additional two hours if they cannot safely complete their journey due to adverse driving conditions. However, they still are prohibited from being on duty for more than 14 hours.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching the Jackson area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Ballard Law, PLLC. We have considerable experience with a wide range of personal injury cases, including those involving truck accidents. If you have been injured due to negligence of any kind, you deserve the right to pursue legal action. With a substantial settlement, you can cover medical expenses, missed wages, and any other damages you might have incurred. Reach out and book your consultation today.
Ballard Law, PLLC
108 S President St.
Jackson, MS 39201