A truck driver’s compliance with regulations limiting his or her hours of driving is partly a function of the employer’s policies. Most trucking companies’ policies reward violating the law. That is, they pay the driver more based on the number of deliveries and on-time deliveries. Simple math will tell you that drivers have an incentive to drive more and to speed. On the other hand, more responsible companies proactively crack down on their drivers’ unsafe practices.
Driving, especially on Colorado’s mountain roads, requires concentration. Semitrucks are not easy to drive. Other vehicles are coming and going in both directions, and defensive maneuvers are necessary when someone else is careless. Drivers of any vehicle can concentrate effectively for only a limited time and require rest before they hit the road again. Many drivers use drugs they believe help them maintain concentration, or even use alcohol despite the danger. Both are dangerous and may cause serious or fatal truck accidents.
Trucking regulations have been around almost as long as trucks have. A driver can only drive for 11 continuous hours in a 14-hour workday, after which they are required to take a mandatory rest period of 10 hours. It has been very common for drivers to keep two sets of logbooks. One is to show a police officer or another authority that hours driven comply with the regulations. Another log contains the truth: That in order to increase earnings, the driver has exceeded allowable hours.
Electronic logbooks have entered the industry and can be used to control this cheating. Many companies are doing so. There are still ways to cheat and still companies that refuse to uphold safety regulations. The fatal and serious accidents resulting from driver fatigue and even drivers falling asleep at the wheel are a genuine tragedy. An experienced attorney can help review the circumstances of the crash and help create a smart legal strategy to help you move forward.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed due to a truck driver exceeding allowable hours, contact Attorney James L. Finegan. He has shown his dedication to accident victims in more than 40 years of practice. Call(303) 980-5511 and arrange a free initial consultation with Mr. Finegan today at his Lakewood office.