When a commercial vehicle is on the road, it’s supposed to be driven by someone who has the knowledge to do so safely. The driver normally has to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and to be educated in how to drive the particular vehicle that is in use.
Many commercial vehicles are large and heavy, making them dangerous to others on the roads. Good training helps the commercial truck driver know what to do if they begin to lose control. Training also helps drivers know what kinds of steps to take to prevent accidents with others.
One of the most important things for commercial drivers to do is to listen to the Hours of Service regulations. These regulations are in place to help prevent accidents and to make sure drivers are getting enough rest.
Property-carrying drivers follow special Hours of Service rules
A commercial driver who transports possessions is very different from someone who is driving passengers. The Hours of Service regulations recognize that.
For example, on a normal day, a property-carrying driver may drive for up to 11 hours if they took 10 hours off consecutively. For a driver who transports passengers, they can only drive a maximum of 10 hours and must take eight hours off between shifts.
Property-carrying drivers can drive if eight hours or fewer have passed since they were last off-duty or had a sleeper berth break of 30 minutes or longer. This helps guarantee that the drivers are getting sleep for enough time each day to drive safely. Passenger-carrying vehicle drivers may not drive once they hit the 60/70 limit within seven or eight days of consecutive duty.
As with most things, there are some exceptions to these rules. However, most drivers have to follow the rules. If they don’t, they could be too drowsy to drive and could cause a collision.
Why are the Hours of Service regulations important to victims of truck crashes?
If a driver violates the Hours of Service regulations, then that could give a victim a good opportunity to pursue compensation from the driver who caused their accident. Being able to prove fault and negligence is a good way to have the power to negotiate for what you need following a crash.
It may also open up the ability to pursue a claim against the driver’s employer, if they have one, since they should be monitoring how often their drivers are on the roads.