Boise Semi Accident Attorney

Hours of Service for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are essentially allowed to drive eleven hours at a stretch; if you have ever driven for eleven hours straight, you are well aware how difficult it is to remain alert after this many hours behind the wheel. Yet truck drivers drive these hours on a daily basis. Nearly half of all truck drivers surveyed admitted they had fallen asleep at the wheel at least once over the prior year, while 65 percent say they are chronically overly-fatigued while on duty. Fatigued truck drivers are one of the primary causes of serious semi-truck accidents across the nation.


All truck drivers must adhere to the Hours of Service limitations, which specify how much time a driver must remain off duty prior to resuming driving duties. These regulations also dictate when breaks are required during the working hours. Under current laws, a driver may only be on duty for 14 hours, and may only drive for 11 hours at one time. The 14-hour on-duty period begins when the driver begins any type of “reportable” work, which includes loading and unloading cargo, fueling, vehicle maintenance, and, of course, driving.

Once the 14-hour on-duty period has ended, the driver cannot drive again until he or she has been off duty for 10 consecutive hours. During the 14 hours of on-duty time, the driver is only allowed to actually drive for 11 of those hours.  A driver who has been on duty for more than 8 consecutive hours is required to take a break of at least 30 minutes, and may not continue driving until that 30-minute break is taken. While other on-duty tasks can be performed during this 30-minute break, there cannot be any driving.

Fatigued Truck Drivers Cause Serious Accidents

For truck drivers across the nation, being overly fatigued and being distracted have moved up to the top two reasons for semi-truck accidents. Fatigued truck drivers have a much slower reaction time, and sleep research has shown there are similarities between the performance of those who are fatigued and those who are intoxicated. This means that a truck driver who has been awake for 24 hours straight will perform at the same level as a person with a 0.10 BAC (0.08 percent is considered legally impaired in every state in the nation). It seems as though the economic profits of the trucking industry are consistently given more importance than the safety of drivers on the roadways, as the trucking industry refuses to lower driving times to ten hours instead of eleven.

Distracted Driving for Truck Drivers a Serious Problem

Distracted driving is a serious problem across the nation, for those driving passenger vehicles and for those driving semi-trucks. Truck drivers in particular are more likely to eat while driving, as a means of saving time, and getting their load delivered more quickly. Then, like the rest of us, truck drivers may be talking on their cell phone while behind the wheel, changing radio stations, talking to a passenger, trying to read a map or set their GPS device, or could simply be “zoned out” due to a particularly monotonous road. Distracted driving is responsible for trucking accidents across the United States, despite the fact that truck drivers are not allowed to text while driving.

The Complexities of Truck Driving Accidents

Because there can be a number of defendants in a truck driving accident, it is particularly important that you contact a Boise semi-truck accident attorney as quickly as possible. Perhaps the truck driver was at fault because he or she was driving recklessly, driving while fatigued, driving while distracted, was impaired, or was exhibiting road rage. The trucking company may be partially responsible, if they put an inexperienced driver on the road or neglected to do a thorough background check. If the accident was the result of a poorly maintained truck, then the maintenance company could bear some of the responsibility, and if poorly secured cargo caused the accident, then the loading company could also share the responsibility. Finally, if there is a manufacturing defect on the truck itself, which caused the accident, the manufacturer of the truck could be held responsible.


Getting the Help You Need

If you have been involved in a Boise semi-truck accident, it is extremely important that you contact a Boise semi-truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Semi-truck accidents are extremely complex and there may be multiple parties responsible for your accident and your injuries. In addition, your injuries could be severe, requiring extensive compensation to cover medical expenses both now and in the future. Your attorney will handle all the legal details, fighting hard for your rights and your future, while allowing you the time to heal.

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