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After having been involved in a truck accident in Austin, your thoughts are likely preoccupied with the one question: why? Knowing why an accident occurred is not only important for your own peace of mind, but also for determining who is liable for the collision. Many, however, have come to us here at Freeman Law concerned that if their unable to determine why a truck driver hit them, they may not be able to seek to compensation.

If you share the same concern, you should know that one of the more common causes of truck accidents is fatigue. Your own experience has likely taught you that long hours behind the wheel can be tiring; you can imagine, then, how tired truck drivers can become while completing a route. A drowsy driver operating any vehicle can be dangerous, much less one driving an enormous semi-truck.

To help prevent truck drivers from literally falling asleep at the wheel, federal lawmakers have enacted guidelines which regulate how long a truck driver can work. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these standards prevent truckers from doing any of the following:

  • Driving more than 11 hours after having taken 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • Driving beyond the 14thconsecutive hour after having taken 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • Driving more than 60-70 hours over a consecutive 7-8 period

In regard to the final regulation listed, taking 36 consecutive hours off duty restarts one’s work week. Drivers may also not drive more than eight hours without taking a 30-minute break.

Asking the truck driver that hit you to produce their logs showing the hours they have been working might tell you whether they were adhering to those standards. More information on determining the cause of truck accidents can be found throughout our site.