Understanding Your Rights: Can a Truck Drier Driving Too Long Be Negligent?
We have all heard that it is dangerous to drive too long. This is because you can become fatigued and increase your risk of an accident. After all, driving for too long can reduce your reaction time which means more distance is required to stop. For most vehicles that is minimal, but for large commercial vehicles like tractor trailers, tankers, big rigs, and other trucks, that can be devastating if not deadly. This is why there are certain regulations called hours of service or HOS rules. This answers the common question can a truck driver driving too long be negligent?
The answer is yes!
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM know that trucking accidents caused by a truck driver violating hours of service or HOS regulations can result in liability. So to the question can a truck driver driving too long be negligent, the answer is yes and it allows victims to recover compensation for their harm. It is important to realize that victims who are injured can also recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident and due to the negligence of a truck driver.
What are Hours of Service Regulations?
The hours of service or HOS regulations come from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These are regulations that set the minimum regulations and requirements that most be complied with in any state—including New Mexico. This allows for states to create more restrictive requirements, but it also means that states cannot enact less restrictive requirements.
The HOS regulations are covered by FMCSA and provide the following requirements that truck drivers:
- Can only be on shift for 14 hours straight before having a minimum of 10 hours off shift to rest
- Cannot drive for more than 8 consecutive hours without taking a 30 minute break
- Cannot drive for more than 10 hours out of a 14 hour shift
- Cannot work for more than 60 hours in any 7 consecutive days, or more than 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days.
So the answer is yes, can a truck driver driving too long be negligent.
What Happens if I am in a Trucking Accident with a Fatigued Trucker?
If you believe that you have been in an accident with a fatigued trucker, there are some steps that you should take to protect your rights. This includes the following:
- Call police to make a report, even if you think you are not injured or have a mild injury. Trucking accidents can cause catastrophic injuries even at a low speed, and they have a significant amount of force
- Alert police to the fatigued driver, including what you observe and ask police to note it and investigate it by checking the logbook
- Get an experienced trucking accident lawyer right away to move to preserve the truck’s logbook and ECM (black box) data. This will ensure that the data does not go away or get deleted by a defense adjuster.
This means calling the experienced trucking accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for help with your case. We offer a FREE consultation and handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Hobbs, Lordsburg, or anywhere else in the state, including Albuquerque where our law office is located. Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact Us box located by clicking here.