Truckers have strict limits on how much they can drive consecutively and strict requirements on how long their breaks must be. This is because time is literally money in the trucking industry, causing some truckers to push the bounds of safety and drive on little sleep. This can have serious implications for drivers of passenger vehicles because the truck is so much larger. An experienced truck accident attorney can examine the facts of your case to determine if hours of service requirements were violated. If so, they will aggressively fight to see that your properly compensated.
Drivers are required to maintain an accurate log of time spend driving, resting, and sleeping. If these books are falsified, it can have criminal consequences for the trucker. Truckers are allowed to drive for 11 hours of driving after 10 consecutive hours off. These 11 hours must be completed within a 14 hour period. In other words, if a driver starts at 5 AM, their 11 hours must be completed no later than 7 PM. At that time, they have to take another break. This allows drivers some extra time to refuel, eat, and take breaks without impacting their time behind the wheel.
It is actually required that truckers take certain breaks. There must be a 30 minute break after 8 hours have passed since their last break. In other words, in the example above, the trucker could drive until 1 PM, he or she would need to take a 30 minute break before continuing. There are some exceptions to this rule for short haul truckers.
Drivers are also not allowed to drive more than 70 hours in an 8 day period. In the example above, if the person drove for 11 hours each day while observing all the other rules, they could only drive three hours on day 7, then must take a day off before being able to get behind the wheel. This 8 day period “floats,” so a driver should never have more than 70 hours in any 8 day period.
At Davis Law Center, we know how serious truck accidents can be. If trucking companies or their drivers ignore the rules, it can result is serious punitive damages that can substantially increase your award. If you have been struck by a tractor trailer and were seriously injured in the Detroit area or anywhere in Michigan, contact an experienced truck accident attorney at Davis Law Center today.