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Understanding regulations for truckers after a truck accident

When there is a truck accident in Ohio, many issues will go into investigating how and why it happened. Truckers are held to a higher standard because they are driving a very large and heavy vehicle, are expected to follow certain rules when doing their jobs, and there is a greater danger of accidents, injuries and fatalities if they violate the rules. This is why the hours of service and knowing whether or not the trucker violated them is so important.

Drivers who are transporting property are limited to 11 hours on the road after having had ten consecutive hours off. Drivers are also limited to a 14-hour limit. What this means is that they are not allowed to driver after their 14th consecutive hour following the start of their shift after ten consecutive hours off. Their off-duty time will not go beyond the 14-hour timeframe. Drivers are required to take rest breaks as well.

When it comes to the rest breaks, a driver is permitted to drive if there have been eight hours or less from the last time he or she was off-duty or had a period in the truck's sleeper berth for at least one-half hour. There are exceptions for drivers who are on a "short-haul." There is a sleeper berth provision in the rules. This involves the driver using the sleeper berth and having a minimum of eight straight hours in the sleeper berth as well as two straight hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty completely, or a combination of those.

Given the amount of time truck drivers spend on the road and the possibility that their pay might be linked to the speed with which they make their deliveries, it's no surprise that there are instances in which the rules are violated. Although a trucking log is required, that does not mean that every company will be completely interested and aboveboard when it comes to workers following the rules. Violating the rules can lead to truck driver fatigue and other dangers. Those who were involved in a truck accident need to have assistance for an investigation into whether or not these rules were violated and if that could have led to the crash. When seeking compensation, it is important to discuss the case with a legal professional.

Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, "Summary of Hours of Service Regulations," accessed on Sept. 24, 2015

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