Louisiana motorists tend to view large trucks as just another vehicle on the roadways. While semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks utilize roadways throughout the nation, these vehicles are driven by employees. Truck drivers are trained to safely operate these massive vehicles and are required to comply with all rules and regulations of the profession. With regards to the trucking industry, trucking companies and truck drivers are required to follow various federal trucking regulations. Failure to follow these regulations does not only subject them to fines and penalties, but it also creates risks and dangers on the roadways.
Who is required to follow hours of service regulations? With regards to the trucking industry, most truck drivers are required to follow hours of service regulations. Specifically, those truck drivers that operate commercial motor vehicles. These are the trucks used as part of a business that is involved in interstate commerce.
Additionally, a truck must fit any of the following descriptions. The truck weighs 10,001 pounds or more, has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more, is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers not for compensation, is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers for compensation or is transporting hazardous material in a quantity that requires a placard.
The goal of the hours of service regulations is to eliminate or reduce the type of fatigue or drowsiness that could lead to truck accidents. Even though many truck drivers believe that they know when they are getting tired and need a break, this is not a sure system that will get fatigued drivers off the road. Thus, the hours of service regulations were drafted and passed as a way to cap the number of hours a truck driver can work during a work period and how often they take breaks.
In the event of a truck crash, it is important to understand what caused it and who is liable. If a drowsy truck driver is the cause, an hours of service violation might also exist as well. Therefore, truck accident victims should explore not only what caused the horrible incident but also who is to blame. Legal recourses could exist, helping victims recover compensation through a personal injury claim.
Source: Fmcsa.dot.gov, "Hours of Service," accessed Oct. 15, 2017