New Jersey Hours of Service Violation Lawyers
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What's the Danger in Truck Drivers Ignoring HOS Regulations?
Semi trucks far outweigh any other vehicle on the road and are a common cause of some of the most catastrophic crashes seen on New Jersey roads every year. As such, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created Hours of Service (HOS) regulations in order to prevent truck driver error and dangerous actions that may endanger the lives of others. While some may see these rules as too restrictive or unnecessary, it is important to understand how a violation of the regulations can result in a major accident.
Dangerous Big Rig Driver Actions
Among major regulations included in the HOS Rules, truck drivers must have a 34-hour restart period between work weeks and may not drive more than 14 consecutive hours after having 10 hours off duty. Perhaps most importantly, drivers must operate on a 60 hour on-duty limit if working for seven consecutive days, or a 70 hour limit if working for eight consecutive days.
These regulations are designed with the goal of making truck drivers have enough rest every day and throughout the week as a whole to prevent fatigued or drowsy driving. While some, especially trucking companies, may view these regulations as harming their business, careful planning and research has gone into making these rules as effective as possible in preventing accidents.
Unfortunately, some drivers choose to violate these rules in order to cut down on their trip length and possibly pursue incentives given by companies. Truck drivers who are operating on little sleep or who have been driving for an excessive amount of time are more likely to become fatigued or drowsy while driving.
Fatigued and drowsy driving may not only lead to the driver falling asleep at the wheel, which can easily lead to any and all catastrophic tractor trailer accidents, but makes drivers less attentive, have slower reaction times, and make careless mistakes. Due to the size, weight, and possible cargo of a tractor trailer, these actions can easily lead to major accidents or even truck-specific accidents, such as jackknifing and runaway trailers. Big rig drivers must not only stay in control of the cab, but of the trailer as well. Driving for hours on end with little sleep makes it much more likely that mistakes can be made and problems can arise.
Dedication to the Rights of NJ Truck Accident Victims
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., our New Jersey tractor trailer accident lawyers understand the many reasons why big rig collisions occur and how to prove the fault of drivers and companies in the search for compensation. Through our nearly two decades of service to the victims of New Jersey accidents, we have gained the skills and resources to successfully represent you if you or a loved one has suffered in a truck accident. To learn more about how we may be of assistance in your case, call (609) 240-0040.
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