Truck drivers often take on grueling and prolonged hours behind the wheel, making them prone to fatigue. In effect, the exhaustion can impair their ability to make sound decisions and slow down their reaction time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes the fatal dangers given these circumstances and identifies truck drivers as one of the high-risk drivers for drowsy driving.
Thus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) aims to mitigate the risks by enforcing the “Hours of Service” (HOS) regulations. Unfortunately, noncompliant truck drivers still exist. When they commit HOS violations, they and their employers can be subject to considerable federal fines and potential claims from injured parties in a crash.
HOS violations can be deadly
The FMCSA’s HOS regulations apply to drivers who carry both properties and passengers. For truck drivers that transport different goods or cargo, their common violations include:
- Exceeding the allowable time limits
-Maximum 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
-14-hour consecutive on-duty limit
-60 on-duty hours within seven consecutive days
-70 on-duty hours within eight consecutive days
- Failing to take a 30-minute break after eight cumulative hours of driving
- Failing to maintain a logbook that records duty status and equipment conditions
- Falsifying logs, such as claiming they were spending their off-duty hours in the provided sleeper berth instead of declaring that they were operational at the time
While working beyond their regular hours can provide truck drivers with financial incentives, the odds are too risky. While it may sound harmless, missing their exit or drifting from their designated lane can still result in catastrophic crashes. In an effort to awaken their senses, truck drivers may also speed up and collide with incoming traffic.
Well-rested truck drivers can keep the road safe
Contrary to popular belief, rest is also productive. While it may not necessarily reap monetary benefits, being alive and alert must be enough motivation for truck drivers to have a good night’s rest and follow HOS regulations. After all, it is much easier to get at least seven hours of sleep than to face a contentious claim. However, when tragedy persists, victims of negligent drivers can work with a results-oriented Mississippi counsel in gathering evidence and fighting for fair compensation.