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Hours of service violation could lead to serious truck accident

Compared to passenger vehicles, semi-trucks are huge. They’re longer and weigh more than the average car, which means that they can cause utter devastation when involved in an accident.

There are a number of reasons why truck accidents occur. Truckers are sometimes drunk or distracted, but in many instances they are simply tired. Tight delivery schedules and overly aggressive employers can spur truckers to drive long hours that are beyond their physical capabilities. This can cause truckers to operate their rigs when their reaction time is increased, attention is decreased, and the possibility of falling asleep is real.

Federal regulators recognize the dangers of drowsy driving, which is why they have standardized hours of service rules. Under these rules, a trucker can only drive up to 11 hours following his or her last 10-hour off duty period. Additionally, that drive time can only occur within the 14-hour span following that 10-hour off duty period. Truckers can only drive if less than eight hours have passed since they took a 30-minute rest. Finally, regulations restrict truckers to driving no more than 60 hours in a seven-day period and no more than 70 hours in any eight-day period.

The sad reality, though, is that many trucker fail to adhere to these regulations. When such actions result in an injurious truck accident, victims may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, these victims may be able to secure the compensation they need to recover damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.

To reach a favorable outcome, though, victims will need to gather evidence to support their case. Trucking logs and witness testimony may be pivotal in establishing that a trucker violated safety regulations. Obtaining this information isn’t always easy, which is why many truck accident victims choose to turn to legal professionals they trust.