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Commercial truck drivers are subject to special safety laws

Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road. Their size and weight mean that vehicles like semitrucks pose more threat than passenger vehicles.

Commercial trucks cause a substantial number of serious collisions each year. During an accident, the driver of the commercial truck is less likely to suffer injuries than the driver and passengers in a smaller vehicle. To help offset the potential risk created by these massive vehicles, the government has put special laws and regulations in place to reduce the potential for a serious collision and injuries.

Unfortunately, these rules and regulations can cause delays in shipping or slightly cut into profit margins for trucking companies. As a result, many commercial truck drivers bend or break these rules, often with the knowledge or even encouragement of their employer or clients. If your or a loved one suffered serious injuries after an accident caused by a commercial truck, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help determine if any safety regulations or laws were intentionally violated, leading to your accident.

Commercial truck driver must take mandated breaks

Other than distraction or chemical impairment, exhaustion is one of the biggest risk factors for an accident with a commercial truck. For that reason, the federal government has put laws in place that require specific rest periods for commercial drivers. These rules, referred to as hours of service, exist to help reduce the potential for severe exhaustion among truck drivers. Unfortunately, many times individual drivers or companies may intentionally break or bend these rules as a means of making strict delivery schedules while driving. Doing that, however, puts other drivers at serious risk.

Drivers who are transporting goods or materials, not people, are limited to a maximum of eleven straight hours of driving, and only after at least ten hours of rest. Fourteen hours after coming on duty, an individual driver must finish his or her day. There is a mandatory 10-hour rest period, regardless of whether there were other breaks during those fourteen hours of service.

Commercial drivers are also limited to a maximum of hours per seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. Anything beyond that is illegal and opens the door to serious liability if there is an accident.

An attorney can help you after a trucking accident

If you or someone you love has experienced a serious injury after an accident with a truck, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney can investigate to determine if rest laws were violated or if there is a history of serious violations or accidents involving the same driver or company.

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