The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates truck drivers and trucking companies to make driving safer for everyone on the road. For example, this Maryland vehicle accident legal blog has previously discussed the dangers that tired driving poses, not only for the sleepy operator, but also for every other individual who must drive near them. The drivers of large trucks are limited in how long they may operate their rigs without taking sleep breaks, and those breaks must be recorded in the drivers’ trucking logs.
According to regulations promulgated by the FMCSA, the driver of a large rig may not drive for more than eleven total hours after taking a ten-hour off-duty sleep break. The driver may not drive past the fourteenth consecutive hour after such a break even if he or she takes short breaks throughout the period of operation.
Rest breaks are essential to ensure that the driver of a semi or other large truck is fully capable to assess the dangers before them while traveling on streets and highways. Exhaustion can slow a driver’s ability to react to adverse conditions, and when the operator of a large vehicle cannot stop their rig or maneuver around an obstacle in the way, innocent individuals may suffer serious injuries or death.
In order to demonstrate that a driver has complied with these and other FMCSA regulations regarding rest, drivers must maintain truck driver logs that indicate when and for how long they took breaks. If a truck is involved in a vehicle accident and the driver’s log indicates the driver did not follow the rules regarding rest, the log may serve as evidence of their negligence in support of the victim’s case.
A variety of other regulations apply to truck drivers and how they may act when driving their rigs. Victims of truck accidents who have questions about their rights and legal opportunities may wish to speak with a truck accident attorney about how they may pursue the damages they deserve.