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Truck Accidents Might Be Due to Hours of Service Violations

With large trucks, such a prevalent sight on North Carolina roadways, those who are sharing the road need to be cognizant of the possibility of a truck accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented regulations mandating limits on how long drivers can drive and the amount of rest they are required to have.

Truck drivers carrying property are limited to driving 11 hours after they have had 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers are not allowed to drive beyond 14 straight hours after they have begun their shift after having had 10 hours off. Drivers are only able to drive if they have had up to eight hours since they were last off duty or had a half-hour rest period in the truck’s sleeper berth.

Those who are carrying passengers are required to limit their driving to 10 hours after having had eight hours off duty. There is a limit of 15 hours in which the driver is not allowed to drive after he or she has been driving for 15 straight hours after having eight consecutive hours off duty. For trucks carrying passengers, the driver must use the sleeper berth and be there for a minimum of eight hours. They are allowed to split the amount of time in the sleeper berth into two different periods as long as they are not less than two hours.

Many accidents are due to drivers who are trying to get their work done as quickly as possible or through pressure from their employer. Truck driver fatigue often plays a role as well. A person who has been injured in a truck accident caused by a drowsy truck driver may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine if it would be advisable to file a lawsuit against both the driver and the trucking company itself seeking compensation for the damages that have been sustained.