You take to Birmingham’s roads nearly every day knowing that other drivers out there may emphasize safe driving practices like you do. For example, you likely understand that some may see no problem with hopping behind the wheel after only a couple hours of sleep, not realizing that their drowsiness makes them a danger to others.
While you may anticipate such negligence, you probably would not expect it from someone who spends long hours on the road (such as a truck driver). These professionals know both the value of safe driving and the risks inherent with operating their massive vehicles. That does not mean, however, that they do not (at times) need protection from themselves to avoid pushing their physical limitations.
Federal hours-of-service regulations
It may be only natural for a truck driver to want to get a few extra hours of work in (at the expense of a little rest). Yet knowing the potential dangers this poses, the federal government requires that they stick to strict hours-of-service regulations. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these include:
- No working more than 60-70 hours across 7-8 consecutive days
- No driving for more than 11 hours without then taking at least 10 consecutive hours off
- No working beyond the fourteenth consecutive hours after coming back on duty
- No driving for more than eight consecutive hours without taking at least a 30-minute break
Identifying a drowsy truck driver
Of course, you understand the pressure to perform at work (as well as the temptation not to disclose when one has violated safety protocols). Thus, you may reason that a truck driver that hits you will likely not admit they felt fatigued at the time. Yet the law requires they maintain detailed work logs. A review of these logs should show if they adhered to the aforementioned standards.