Semi-trucks are oftentimes an ominous presence on North Carolina’s roadways. Although these vehicles play an integral role in our economy, they can also pose a significant risk to other motorists. This is especially true when semi-trucks are driven negligently or they are improperly maintained. Under these circumstances, a serious truck accident can occur. Far too often these wrecks result in severe injuries that can send a ripple effect of harm throughout a victim’s life.
Compensation may be recoverable for these damages, but that is often contingent upon showing that negligence caused the accident and the injuries that resulted. One way to do this is to determine whether a trucker violated any federal trucking regulations. Amongst the most important of these regulations are those pertaining to hours of service, which dictate when and for how long truckers can be on the road.
There are a number of regulations pertaining to hours of service. For example, a trucker can only drive for a total of 60 hours in any seven-day period or 70 hours in any eight-day period. Additionally, he or she cannot continue to drive if more than eight hours have passed since his or her last rest period, which must last at least 30 minutes. Under these regulations, a trucker may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after taking 10 consecutive hours off, and total road time following that off period cannot exceed 11 hours.
Sadly, far too many truckers fail to abide by these regulations. Those who fail to abide by them can wind up seriously fatigued, meaning that their reaction time is decreased and they are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. When these types of situations result in an injurious truck accident, it may be time for a victim to seek out legal help.