Semi Tractor Trailer Crashes Caused by Driver Fatigue

Indiana Auto Accident LawyersDriver fatigue causes semi tractor-trailer accidents. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel semi tractor-trailer crashes happen. When a driver is tired, their reaction time is reduced and semi tractor-trailer collisions cause serious personal injury and wrongful death. So, what prevents companies from pressuring drivers to driver to the point where they become a hazard to others on the road? The civil justice system, which is designed to hold those financially responsible for the harm they cause is one incentive to be safe. Another incentive is found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations or FMCFRs for short. The FMCFR contains a provision which specifically controls the amount of drive time a carrier may allow its drivers to perform. To enforce this rule drivers are required to keep up to date logs of their drive time and must present this log to a law enforcement officer immediately upon request, such as when a semi tractor-trailer accident happens. In addition, on board computers and satellite monitoring devices can be accessed to insure that the driver’s logs are accurate. A violation of these rules is admissible in court as evidence to establish whether the drivers negligence was a cause of the serious personal injury or wrongful death caused by the highway accident. A copy of the FMCFR is provided here for your review. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a semi tractor-trailer accident which was caused by violations of the FMCFRs, please call.

FMCFR Part 395.3

(a) Except as otherwise provided in §395.1, no motor carrier shall permit or require any driver used by it to drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, nor shall any such driver drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carriers using the driver’s services, unless the driver complies with the following requirements:(1) Start of work shift. A driver may not drive without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty;(2) 14-hour period. A driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.(3) Driving time and rest breaks. (i) Driving time. A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.(ii) Rest breaks. After June 30, 2013, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.(b) No motor carrier shall permit or require a driver of a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle to drive, nor shall any driver drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carriers using the driver’s services, for any period after—(1) Having been on duty 60 hours in any period of 7 consecutive days if the employing motor carrier does not operate commercial motor vehicles every day of the week; or(2) Having been on duty 70 hours in any period of 8 consecutive days if the employing motor carrier operates commercial motor vehicles every day of the week.(c)(1) Through June 30, 2013, any period of 7 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours. After June 30, 2013, any period of 7 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.(2) Through June 30, 2013, any period of 8 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours. After June 30, 2013, any period of 8 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.(d) After June 30, 2013, a driver may not take an off-duty period allowed by paragraph (c) of this section to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days until 168 or more consecutive hours have passed since the beginning of the last such off-duty period. When a driver takes more than one off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours within a period of 168 consecutive hours, he or she must indicate in the Remarks section of the record of duty status which such off-duty period is being used to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.

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