Each day, thousands of large trucks cross Virginia to deliver goods and products to retailers across the Commonwealth. Many Danville drivers are familiar with the sight of big rigs, tanker trucks, and 18-wheelers passing through their community on their way to locations both near and far. In most situations, large trucks pass through cities without incident. In some unfortunate situations, they are involved in deadly accidents.
One predictable and preventable cause of truck accidents is scheduling. In some situations, truck drivers are held to impossible delivery timelines that cause them to drive too much and when they are incapable of focusing on the roads. This post will look at how delivery schedules can upset driver rest patterns and create dangerous situations for accidents. The contents of this post are informational, and readers are reminded not to rely on it as legal counsel.
Why schedules matter
In practically any employment industry, a worker can be held to a schedule for accountability, production, and performance. Truck drivers are no exception. When one picks up a load of cargo, they may be told when that delivery must be made at a specific location. Many factors should be considered in the creation of a delivery schedule, including but not limited to the roads the trucker must travel and the distance the location of the drop-off is from the starting point.
Some trucking companies do not use these considerations to set their delivery schedules. They expect their drivers to operate as fast as possible and for as long as possible to get their cargo to their end points in ridiculously fast times. This may force drivers to operate when they are tired and to put themselves and others in the path of harm.
Hours of service
The federal government has attempted to combat this problem through the adoption of hours of service regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is tasked with enforcing hours of service rules that prevent drivers from operating for too long in large trucks. Drivers are required to maintain driving logs that show when they were operating their rigs, when they were resting in their trucks, and when they took long breaks to sleep outside of their rigs. When an accident happens and exhaustion or sleep deprivation is a possible cause, a victim and their truck accident attorney can seek to review the driver’s log to see if they violated hours of service requirements.
Recovering after a truck accident
Accidents with large trucks are always dangerous and often deadly. In the wake of a truck accident, a victim and their family may not understand their rights and options for seeking compensation under the law. It is therefore important for victims to understand their rights and to speak with attorneys who work in the field of motor vehicle accidents and truck collisions. Not all attorneys represent clients in these specific fields and those who suffer losses in truck accidents can benefit from seeking counselors who work within the relevant personal injury laws.