Truck driving can be very rewarding for many people because it allows them to enjoy the freedom of being on the road. Truckers operate in a highly regulated industry, though.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truckers to keep a detailed recording of the hours they work in the form of a designated U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) logbook. While you may assume that this would help truckers minimize crash rates, it often doesn’t.
Truckers must keep an accurate account of each 24-hour period, including both the time they are on and off duty. If a trucker is found to have falsified their logbook, they could face serious consequences — including being subject to criminal prosecution.
The maximum period a trucker transporting property can drive is 11 hours after taking 10 consecutive hours off. Tractor-trailer operators who transport passengers are only permitted to drive a maximum of 10 hours after first taking eight consecutive hours off.
Even with increased safety regulations to keep truckers and other motorists safe, truckers face a lot of pressure from both shippers and their supervisors to make their deadlines. These pressures increase the possibility that a trucker will break the rules and accidents will occur. Just because a trucker is off for a certain period of hours, that does not guarantee that they got some sleep or that they come back on duty rested and refreshed.
Like many drivers, truckers can also be distracted. Unlike people with traditional office jobs who might use their phones to text and go online while at work, a trucker’s place of business is the road. If a tractor-trailer operator can easily become distracted by their phone. If this happens, then they may claim many lives in an instant.
Many people may go to work drowsy and, in some cases, intoxicated. However, this can be enormously hazardous to a trucker’s health and work performance. It can endanger the lives of motorists around them.
If a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a crash with a truck or commercial vehicle here in Texas, an attorney can negotiate with the negligent trucker’s insurance company or take other steps to get the necessary compensation.