Drowsy driving is a problem for all motor vehicle drivers. Across North Carolina, private drivers and commercial vehicle operators succumb to exhaustion and put themselves and others at risk when they cannot stay awake. While drowsy driving is a form of distracted driving, drivers of large commercial vehicles are subject to particular restrictions to prevent them from letting their tiredness become hazardous.
“Hours of service” is the term associated with the limitations that certain commercial drivers must meet in order to remain compliant with the law and avoid drowsy driving accidents. Logs are maintained to show if and when drivers took breaks to get rest. These logs can be invaluable pieces of evidence when an individual is involved in a truck accident with a drowsy commercial vehicle driver.
Hours of service for commercial drivers
As stated, hours of service regulations dictate how often certain commercial drivers must break for rest and sleep. For example, drivers carrying property can operate for up to 11 consecutive hours after taking a 10 hour break, but drivers carrying passengers (such as bus drivers) may only operate for 10 hours after an 8 hour break. Breaks must be interspersed with driving, and to ensure that drivers follow these rules, they must log their breaks and periods of driving in a book as their driving record.
A driving log record is necessary to demonstrate a driver’s compliance with these rules. It is also, however, a useful piece of documentation for a victim if they are involved with a commercial driver who failed to take the mandated periods of rest.
Building a case after a truck accident
Truck accidents can inflict serious injuries on victims. Preventable truck accidents, such as those caused by drowsy drivers, are particularly frustrating because drivers’ compliance with the rules may have stopped the collisions from happening. When a victim suffers due to the negligent actions of a commercial driver, they should be prepared to fight for their rights. That can mean working with a dedicated personal injury attorney who will help them build a strong case for the recovery of their losses. This post is informational in content and readers are reminded not to rely on it as legal advice.