Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers that drive on North Carolina’s roads and highways have to go through extensive training and certify their skills before ever getting behind the wheel of a big rig. For some, it may be very confusing why there are so many accidents caused by truck drivers.
If someone is so capable and certified, how can they make the mistakes that led to the truck accident? It is important to remember that truck drivers are human, and they are susceptible to the same issues as the rest of us – and one of those things is they could experience fatigue while behind the wheel. No doubt, a drowsy truck driver may pose an even greater risk than someone driving a car or SUV while fatigued.
Federal lawmakers understand this too, and this is why they place strict hours-of-service regulations on truck drivers. This is done to protect you and others from their potential fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the regulations restrict drivers to:
- 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- 14-hour limit after coming onto duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty
- 30-minute break when driving for 8 hours
- Not driving more than 60-70 hours in a 7–8-day span
What this means, is that off-duty periods of 36 and 10 consecutive hours (respectively) reset the work week and an individual work shift.
A review of a truck driver’s work logs might reveal whether they complied with the regulations mentioned above. However, there are exceptions to these rules. One being drivers operating within a 100-mile radius of their destination do not adhere to these regulations. And another being government officials may also choose to suspend these regulations during times of national or local emergencies.
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, you need a team of truck accident attorneys on your side. The attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett have over 58 years of experience with these types of cases and they will do everything in their power to ensure you get the compensation you may deserve for your injuries. Let us put our experience to work for you, call 252-378-2525 today.