Whether it’s an 18-wheeler, a delivery truck or a tow truck that gets into an accident, there will always be serious medical, financial, and legal repercussions after such a large-scale collision. A truck is defined as an automobile of significant weight and size that has the main purpose of transporting items from one area to the next.
Truck accidents can be deadly and that is why so many rules and regulations have been created to help reduce the risks of a trucker losing control of their vehicle. In truck accidents, it is generally the drivers of other vehicles that suffer the most. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed statistics showing that 72% of the individuals who are killed in truck accidents are the occupants of the smaller vehicles.
Truck drivers have a legal duty to make sure they do not harm anyone else and that they do everything they can to ensure the safety of themselves and everyone they share the road with. There are many Federal and State laws- most of which can be found in the Texas Transportation Code- that indicate the strict rules truck drivers must follow to be able to operate their vehicles legally. Despite this, Texas still ranks first in the state with the most truck accidents.
One of the rulings that must be followed is the Federal Hours of Service Limitations. These rules are put in place to make sure that truck drivers do not operate their commercial vehicles when they are fatigued. The HOS rules are as follows:
- While on-duty, drivers are only allowed to conduct a maximum of 14 consecutive hours, following 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- If they have a passenger-carrying vehicle, they are only allowed to conduct a maximum of 15 hours on-duty, followed by 8 consecutive hours off-duty
- They are only allowed a maximum of 11 hours of driving during the 14-hour on-duty period
- They are only allowed a maximum of 10 hours of driving following 8 consecutive hours on-duty
- They are only allowed a maximum of 60 hours on-duty in any period of 7 consecutive days if the vehicle is driven every day or a maximum of 80 hours in any 8-day period where the vehicle is not driven daily
If a truck driver fails to follow their hours of service rules and they end up getting into an accident they can be penalized and forced to pay the damages to all the victims of the accident. Anyone who finds themselves in a collision with a truck should call a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to determine how much compensation they are eligible to receive based on the damages they suffered.