In a 1940s movie, Humphrey Bogart starred as an overtired, overworked truck driver. As he fell asleep at the wheel, he caused an accident that severed his right arm. Though the movie is a fictional work, such scenes are all too common in America’s trucking industry. Here, you will learn about federal hours-of-service regulations and their enforcement.
Regulations on Hours of Service
Regulations from Congress make our roads safer for truckers and other motorists. If you are in an accident with a large truck, your Truck Accident Lawyer should first investigate whether the truck’s driver was in compliance with the FMCSA’s HOS (hours of service) rules.
Most commercial vehicle and all tractor trailer drivers must comply with these regulations, which stipulate that drivers cannot be on the road more than 70 hours in eight days. Drivers cannot operate for more than eleven hours, after having a ten-hour break. However, drivers often violate the rules, as they face pressure to get shipments to their destinations on time.
Enforcement of the Rules
Computerized logs, which are part of every modern interstate tractor trailer, enforce the HOS rules. When a driver starts his or her work day, the log records driving time. These logs offer a very accurate record of the driver’s daily and weekly driving time. After a serious accident, state police usually check the driver’s electronic logs.
Proving Violations of the HOS Rule
To prove that a driver or trucking company violated the HOS rule, your attorney will need a copy of the trucker’s electronic logs, which are required by Federal law. If the logs are inaccurate or missing, other methods can be used to find out how long the driver has been at the wheel.
A Truck Accident Lawyer in Fredericksburg VA, can review bills of lading and trip tickets, which include third-party entries and time stamps that show when loads are delivered and picked up. A trucking company is obligated to monitor its drivers’ service hours, and should not allow drivers to deliberately keep inaccurate logs. Those that do leave themselves vulnerable to legal action.
An attorney who handles trucking accidents will know how important electronic logs are, and he or she can gather them and other information from the trucking company and the driver if necessary. If you have been involved in a tractor trailer accident, call a Truck Accident Lawyer in Fredericksburg VA, as soon as possible.
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