Erwinville, LA – Long distance driving of commercial vehicles is subject to strict government regulations. Many of these regulations are put in place for the safety of the drivers and others on the roads, as things like fatigued drivers, unsecured loads, and improperly maintained vehicles become serious hazardous on the roads. One of the most important aspects of truck driver safety is observing and recording the mandatory rest and break periods.
The dangers of fatigued driving
Research and data from all kinds of motor vehicle crashes has consistently shown that fatigued driving is a leading cause of accidents along with distracted driving, drunk driving, and other dangerous behaviors. Because truck drivers are driving hundreds of miles per day, and they may be out on a highway for several hours at a time without stopping, the possibility of an accident due to fatigue and distractions increases greatly.
Truck driver breaks and rest periods
A day for a trucker is broken into fourteen hours by transportation regulations. This is done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. These specific rules apply to all vehicles over ten thousand pounds, or any vehicle that is in the process of transporting hazardous materials. Companies that deal with hazardous materials normally need special permissions and they are required to follow additional regulations as well.
Within the fourteen hour period, the trucker can complete up to eleven hours of actual driving on the roads. In addition to this total hour limitation, drivers must stop and take at least one thirty minute break during the course of the eleven hour driving period. An absolute maximum of sixty driving hours can be completed within a seven day period.
Lawsuits against negligent drivers and trucking companies
Even though these regulations exist for safety purposes, the unfortunate reality is that many drivers will simply ignore the rules or try to avoid mandatory breaks to get their work done quicker. If any violations of safety regulations are discovered after an accident, these violations can be used as evidence of negligence against the driver and their employer. A trucking company that is considered to be at fault because of their negligence may have to pay costs for vehicle repairs, medical treatment, and pain and suffering of the victims. The case is more likely to settle rather than go to trial, especially if there is clear evidence of fault by the driver.
Truck collision lawyers in Louisiana
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a respected firm that is available to help after truck accidents and various other motor vehicle incidents in Erwinville and other parts of Louisiana. Their attorneys can meet with local clients to discuss civil lawsuits and related matters.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806