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Are there laws to prevent truckers from driving drowsy?

Yes. Falling asleep at the wheel, driver fatigue, and other symptoms of “drowsy driving” are a major cause of hundreds of semi-truck crashes each year. As many truck drivers are paid premiums for making faster deliveries or pulling in bigger loads, many truckers opt Drowsy Drivers and Semi-Trucks Do Not Mix Wellto skirt federal rules and stay behind the wheel when they are tired in order to make more money.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted a number of drowsy driving rules for commercial truck drivers to follow. In order to reduce the number of hours they spend behind the wheel, drivers must take mandatory rest breaks during and between their shifts, including:

  • Daily limits. Drivers are prohibited from driving more than 11 hours in one day, and must take at least one 30-minute break from driving within the first eight hours of their shift.
  • Weekly maximum. Truckers are now able to work a maximum of 70 hours in a single week (7 day-period).
  • Days off. After a trucker has completed a 70-hour workweek, he or she must rest for at least 34 hours before starting a new workweek. This mandatory resting period must include at least two periods of sleep at night, between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Can I Get Proof That a Trucker Who Struck Me Was Driving Drowsy?

The best evidence of a trucker’s violation of the hours of service rules is his mandatory driving log. This is a written record of all of the stops he has made, and may include GPS tracking of the vehicle. While this information is transmitted to the trucking company, the company will likely not want to share any information with you that proves a driver could be at fault for an accident.

If you suspect that you were hit by a tired trucker, we can help you collect vital evidence in your case. Fill out the quick contact form on this page to have an attorney at Wayne Wright LLP come directly to you. Your contact with us is free, and you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.