Commercial truck drivers are some of the best trained and experienced motorists on the road. Hence, it is unfortunate if they get involved in accidents. Note that the main reason for commercial truck accidents despite having skilled drivers is extreme fatigue and tiredness. After all, tight deadlines, long hours behind the wheels, endless stretches of driveways are enough to make any healthy and active driver drowsy. This makes them prone to accidents risking their lives as well as the pedestrians and passengers in other vehicles.
Hours of Service Regulations
In order to prevent truck accidents caused by drowsiness and extreme fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforced the Hours of Service or HoS regulations. According to this rule, ‘truck drivers are prohibited from driving for more than 11 hours after having spent at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty. When commercial drivers are transporting passengers, the driving limit after having spent at least 8 consecutive hours off-duty is 10 hours’.
Unfortunately, not every truck driver in California follows these regulations and often ends up in fatal crashes because of drowsy driving. However, if you are involved in a crash caused as a drowsy driver, you can consult a credible truck accident attorney and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Additionally, you can hold the employer of the truck driver responsible for your loss. With the help of a talented truck accident lawyer, you can obtain fair compensation for all your damages such as injuries, loss of wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, etc.
Proving HoS Violation
You must be able to prove that the truck driver has violated the Hours of Service regulations to achieve a fair settlement from the opposite party. This requires a thorough investigation to gather necessary evidence as well as an eyewitness and expert witness testimony. This explains the necessity of having a skilled truck accident attorney by your side. Note that to prove HoSviolation, you must gather evidence that indicates the truck was on the road beyond the time limit that is legally permitted. The pieces of evidence that you must collect in this case include;
- Data from the black box of the commercial truck
- GPS data that indicates the locations covered by truck, the timing, and the speed
- Logbook entries of the driver to track their hours on the road
- Cellphone records including text and call logs
- Tollbooth tickets
- The social media posts of the driver regarding the journey
- Weigh station receipts
- Time-stamped bills from restaurants, gas stations, and rest stops
- The maintenance records of the trucker
- Interview the eyewitnesses