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Truck Driver Fatigue Causing New Mexico Trucking Accidents: FMCSA Regulations to Know

FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations Aim to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue, a Serious Issue for New Mexico Trucking Accidents

Trucking is a massive interstate business spanning coast-to-coast and border-to-border.  While each state has applicable traffic laws, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a federal agency, has enacted regulations which are applicable to all commercial trucks no matter what state the vehicle is in or the vehicle (and driver) are from.  One of the most important sections of the FMCSA regulations is Part 395.  This area of the federal regulations governs the hours of service provisions that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow.  The goal is to prevent New Mexico trucking accidents.

These hours of service regulations are very important.  They are aimed to prevent truck drivers driving for a long time to feel fatigued or fall asleep at the wheel.  This includes trucking companies from forcing drivers to drive fatigued or tired.  Even if a truck driver is well rested, after a certain number of hours driving it is easy to become complacent with driving.  Driving for a long time, especially a big rig or double trailer, is difficult and exhausting.  Even an alert driver who has been driving for a long time is dangerous.

This is because a truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel turns a large tractor trailer into an unguided missile.  Innocent victims can be seriously hurt or killed when a large 18 wheeler smashes into them, particularly on a highway or interstate like I-10, I-25, or I-40.  This is why the FMCSA regulations guard against these types of injuries or needless and wrongful deaths.

Important Hours of Services Regulations from FMCSA Regulations Part 395

There are many important parts of the FMCSA regulations which may apply when a truck driver is acting negligent or against the law.  But the most common violations for hours of services comes form Part 395.  The highlights from this section include the following rules:

  • Truck drivers may operate a maximum of 14 hours on duty from the start to end of the shift, after which a driver must have 10 consecutive hours off shift before beginning a new one.
  • During the 14 hour shift, a truck driver may only operate for 11 hours of actual driving.  The remaining 3 hours is mandatory rest time.
  • Truck drivers may only drive for a maximum of 8 hours in a row before at least a 30 minute rest is required.
  • During seven consecutive days, a truck driver may only have 60 hours on duty, and during 8 consecutive days only 70 hours on duty.

Injured in a New Mexico Trucking Accident Due to a Truck Driver Falling Asleep at the Wheel?  FMCSA Regulations May Help Prove Your Case

Were you injured in a New Mexico trucking accident?  Call our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys today by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn what rights you may have.  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.

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