Despite the fact that there are numerous laws designed to prevent truck or bus drivers getting behind the wheel without adequate rest, as a Flower Mound personal injury attorney I know that commercial driver fatigue remains a leading cause of semi-truck, tractor trailer, 18-wheeler and motor coach wrecks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – many of which result in serious injuries or fatalities.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic collision involving a commercial motor vehicle, it is important that you consult with an experienced Flower Mount truck wreck injury lawyer as early as possible in the process, in order to safeguard your legal rights and make sure you have the best possible chance of recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve.
The Law Regarding Overtired Truck Drivers
Driver fatigue is a very real hazard when it comes to commercially licensed drivers in DFW and throughout Texas, and has been linked to similarly serious issues such as sleep apnea. In an effort to combat the public safety risk created by an exhausted driver behind the wheel of a big rig, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandatory guidelines which all CDL drivers and motor carrier shipping companies must abide by.
These rules prohibit all truck drivers from driving in excess of 11 hours a day, or working a shift longer than 14 hours. They must work no more than 60 hours total in a seven day work week, or no more than 70 hours total in an eight day workweek. They are required to accumulate at least 10 consecutive hours off duty prior to starting a new shift.
Similar rules are in force for bus and motor coach drivers, but are somewhat more lax than those for semi-truck drivers. Bus drivers are limited to driving a maximum of 10 hours total, or a 15 hour total shift. Their mandatory off duty period between shifts is a minimum of eight hours. Bus drivers are held to the same weekly maximum of hours as truck drivers.
Both truck and bus drivers must be off duty for at least 34 consecutive hours between weeks of service.
Proving a Truck or Bus Driver Was in Violation of Hours of Service Laws
It can be very difficult to obtain the necessary evidence to prove the commercial vehicle driver who caused your crash was guilty of drowsy driving. In fact, it is almost impossible without the aid of a Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer. An attorney knows how to get access to the relevant information such as the driver’s logbook, electronic on-board recorder, and even the negligent driver’s cellphone records in order to determine whether or not they actually got the mandatory rest between their shifts.
To schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a Flower Mound personal injury and wrongful death attorney, please contact the Anderson Law Firm today. Call toll free at 800-354-6275 or locally at 817-294-1900.
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