The dangers posed by drowsy truck drivers traveling on Monticello’s roads have been detailed on this blog in the past. The trouble is that a collision with another vehicle will almost certainly jar a drowsy truck driver awake. How, then, are you to know if the truck driver that hit you might have literally been asleep at the wheel at the time? This question has been posed to us here at Carroll & Turner, P.S.C. by many people in your same situation. Fortunately, there may a relatively simple way to find out.
The federal government has established hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers. These standards have been established to help ensure that those driving semi-trucks remain alert at the wheel at all times. A failure to comply with them could result in truck drivers (as well as the companies that employ) facing stiff penalties and even potential criminal charges.
Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the hours-of-service regulations set for those transporting property are as follows:
- A driver may drive no more than 11 hours before needing to take at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- A driver may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hours after a 10-hour off-duty period (breaks and rest stops do not extend this 14-hour window)
- A driver may not drive for more than eight hours without taking a break of at least 30 minutes
- A driver’s workweek cannot exceed 60/70 hours across a period of 7/8 consecutive days (a 36-hour off-duty period re-starts the workweek)
How are you to know if the driver that hit you was following these regulations? Ask to see their service log. Failing to keep such a log is also a violation of federal standards.
More information on potential truck driver liability can be found throughout our site.