The FMCSA imposes hours-of-service rules on commercial drivers meeting certain criteria. Drivers may not drive for more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period. Additionally, drivers are limited to working 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. The restriction depends on whether or not a trucking company operates trucks seven days per week. Once drivers reach the limit, they are required to stay off duty for a minimum of 34 consecutive hours. Unfortunately, as a truck accident attorney Atlanta GA residents come to with questions, we have learned that not everyone follows these rules.
In the trucking industry, time is money. Some drivers stay on the road even when they are too tired to operate a vehicle in a safe manner. Fatigue reduces reaction times, makes it difficult to focus, and impairs judgment. Tired drivers are more likely to drift in their lanes, fail to stop when required, or fail to pay attention to road conditions. All of these things increase the risk for crashes. Accidents resulting from driver fatigue are often more serious than other accidents because the driver doesn’t make an attempt to avoid crashing.