Due to rigorous, and sometimes impractical, production deadlines, long hall and highway truck drivers may be tempted to operate vehicles without sufficient rest or sleep for prolonged intervals in order to make a delivery on schedule.
As a result, truckers who drive while fatigued are significantly less able to operate their large vehicles safely, which greatly increases the risk and incidence of accidents and jeopardizes the safety of all motorists on the highway.
To combat and reduce the number of big rig accidents caused by truck driver fatigue, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules, which all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must comply.
The present Hours of Service limits for property-carrying CMV drivers are as follows:
- The 14-Hour On Duty Limit bans driving after 14 consecutive hours of service until after 10 consecutive hours off the clock.
- The 11-Hour Driving Limit allows drivers to operate their vehicle for a maximum of 11 hours during the 14-hour duty period and they may not resume until taking 10 successive hours off.
- The 60/70-Hour Duty Limit condemns operating a vehicle after 60/70 hours on shift in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may operate when on-duty hours are below the 60/70-hour limit for 7/8 consecutive days, and may also begin a new 7/8 day cycle by taking 34 or more successive hours of off-duty rest.
When a commercial truck driver fails to follow these rules and causes a crash due to fatigue, he or she may be held accountable for the resulting damages and/or wrongful deaths. If you or a family member has been injured in a Pennsylvania semi truck crash due to a fatigued truck driver, contact the Scranton, PA truck accident lawyers at Anapol Weiss at 1-866-735-2792 for a free consultation of your case.