Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that can lead to severe truck accidents on Kentucky's roadways. These accidents can leave a victim permanently disabled and, in the worst cases, can leave a family grieving the loss of a loved one.
Because it is such a serious problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which has authority to regulate truckers who do business across state lines, has promulgated several regulations it causes hours of service regulations or, in shorthand rest rules.
For haulers of property, these rules require a truck driver to pull over and take at least a 10-hour break after being behind the wheel for 11 hours. Additionally, the rules also require the break after the driver has been on duty for 14 hours, even if some of that time isn't behind the wheel but spent on short bathroom and gas breaks.
Weekly limits on how long a trucker can driver without a day off also apply, and there are also slightly different rest rules in place for bus drivers and other drivers who take passengers across state lines.
If a driver or a company is in the habit of violating these rules, the Administration may impose a fine or, in serious cases, even revoke a company's permission to operate in across state lines. Although these sorts of punishments can cripple a business, however, they do not mean an accident victim gets compensation.
Fortunately, a victim of a fatigued truck driver can point out in court that the driver had violated the rest rules and that violation contributed to the accident. Doing so may help a victim get the compensation for his injuries that he deserves.