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Jacobs & Dow, LLC


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Fatigued Truckers Driving More Hours Than Allowed

Connecticut drivers know the dangers caused by large trucks on the road. The risk of an accident is even higher when truckers are fatigued. Studies report that truckers get around five hours of sleep during a normal shift. This is two hours less than the recommended seven. Additionally, levels of fatigue are normally the highest between midnight and 6 a.m.

The number of fatigued truckers is quite high, because of the demands of their jobs. This is often because they are trying to maintain the number of hours required by their employer, even if those hours are in violation of state and federal regulations. Often drivers may be pressured to underreport the number of hours that they have been behind the wheel. If drivers do not follow these requests, they could find themselves out of a job.

The Federal Motor Carriers Association has implemented new hours of service rules in an attempt to battle trucker fatigue and decrease the number of
trucking accidents. It is hoped that these rules will decrease the danger to truckers and other drivers on the road.

Under the new rules, property carrying drivers may only drive 11 hours after 10 hours off. Additionally, property carrying Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers are forbidden from driving 60 hours in seven consecutive days, or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. A rest period of 34 hours is also required before a driver begins consecutive driving days.

All truckers are now also required to keep a recording device similar to a GPS in their vehicles. The device records the times trucks turn on and off, making it easier for hours to be tracked. This rule was implemented because old paper log system was outdated and made it harder to verify hours worked.

Accidents caused by fatigued truckers often result in tragic consequences and wrongful deaths. If a fatigued driver is under pressure to drive more hours than legally allowed, the trucking company is potentially at fault.

In these cases, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide knowledge and guidance. The attorney can assist with determining the underlying cause of an accident and holding the appropriate parties responsible. The attorney can also assist with obtaining any available compensation.