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Driver Fatigue

Commercial Trucking Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue

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Commercial Trucking Accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons including excessive speed, poor weather, or bad road conditions. However, a leading cause of commercial trucking accidents remains driver fatigue.

Driver fatigue can be caused by medical conditions or simply a lack of sleep. While non-commercial driving is not governed by any specific statute as to how long one may drive within a given time period, commercial truck drivers must adhere to specific regulations called Hours-of-Service (HOS), which are regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (which is a division of the United States Department of Transportation).

Commercial Trucking Hours of Service (HOS)

The HOS regulations only apply to those operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The HOS regulations limit both the amount of hours of driving per day and the number of hours of driving and working per week. These regulations also require certain rest periods for drivers.

To document compliance with these regulations, CMV drivers are required to keep a detailed log documenting driving and rest periods and other information. (Drivers can also comply using an electric recording device).

Did Driver Fatigue or Non-Compliance with the HOS Regulations Contribute to Your Injuries?

When a commercial trucking accident occurs, as part of our investigation we seek to obtain a copy of the driver’s journal so that we may see if the driver has been complying with the applicable HOS regulations.

In some instances, truck drivers fail to comply with these regulations because they would rather drive longer periods and make more money than follow the rest period rules. In addition, even if the driver has complied with the HOS regulations, other factors may exist that may have contributed to driver fatigue, such as medical conditions or medications taken by the driver.

If you’ve been injured by a commercial truck driver, it’s important to find out what caused the accident, and whether a violation of the HOS regulations may have contributed to the accident. 

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