Accidents involving large trucks vehicles tend to be extremely serious. Think about it — when a huge, 40,000-pound truck collides with an average-sized, 4,000-pound vehicle, there is bound to be much more damage to the smaller vehicle. Truck accidents also tend to be deadly for passengers in smaller vehicles. According to the latest data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were over 4,700 people killed in truck accidents in 2017. Of those people, nearly 75 percent were occupants of the other motor vehicle involved in the accidents. One of the most commonly cited reasons for truck accidents is driver fatigue, which is highly regulated by the FMCSA.
- Virginia Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigue: A Tragic, Preventable Problem
- Drowsy Drivers: Dangerous Drivers
- Research Points to Fatigue as Cause of Many Car Crashes
Hours of Service Regulations
Driving for long periods of time can make anyone tired. When all you do is drive for a living, you can become fatigued quickly, which is why rules were put into place by the FMCSA to prevent drowsy driving by truck drivers. Hours of service regulations are laws that all truck drivers must follow in order to limit the amount of time they spend on the road. If a truck is carrying cargo, a driver:
- Is only permitted to work for up to 11 hours in a row
- Is only permitted to drive for 11 consecutive hours immediately after at least 10 straight hours off duty
- Is only allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if not more than eight hours have passed since they last had a break of at least 30 minutes
- Is not permitted to drive a CMV after they have been on duty for 60 hours in a seven-day time span or 70 hours on duty in an eight-day time span. They may begin working again after 34 straight hours of being off duty.
Hours of service rules were put into place for a very good reason — to lessen the chance of truck accidents occurring because of fatigue or drowsiness. If a person has been in a truck accident, there is a very good chance that they are experiencing serious injuries. Getting compensated for your injuries can be achieved if you are able to prove that the driver was, in fact, violating the hours of service rules at the time of the accident. Your attorney will be able to gather information and compile evidence as to whether or not the rules were violated by examining:
- Electronic driving records from devices that some trucks are equipped with
- Logbooks that can point to a trucker’s driving time and break time
- GPS information
- The truck driver’s text messages or call history
Call a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a VA truck accident that you believe was caused by a tired truck driver, you may require legal representation. Contact our Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys today to learn more about your possible claim during a free, private consultation. Call 800-752-0042 to schedule your appointment.