Many of the truck drivers who pass through Orange County, California, are subject to the rules and regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Among those regulations, some of the most important are the FMCSA’s so-called rest rules, which are also referred to as Hours of Services regulations.
Basically, a truck driver must take a 10-hour break after actually driving for 11 hours. Moreover, because these 11 hours driving do not account for short breaks like gas and bathroom stops, the rules also specify that a truck driver cannot be on the clock for more than 14 hours without stopping for a 10-hour break. Depending on the circumstances, a trucker also has to take at least 34 hours, one and one-half days, off after driving either 60 or 70 hours in about a week.
The reason behind these rules is to prevent truck driver fatigue. Of course, no Orange County resident wants to think of what would happen were a truck driver to actually fall asleep at the wheel. Even if a tired trucker can manage to keep himself or herself awake, serious truck accidents are still more likely just because a tired truck driver is easily distracted, does not react well to sudden emergencies and in general may drive much like an intoxicated driver would.
Not surprisingly, therefore, fatigued truck drivers can cause serious truck accidents that can leave innocent Californians permanently disabled and in need of medical help and replacement income. Unfortunately, drivers and trucking companies are sometimes still tempted to wink at these rules or just ignore them in order to boost profit. If they choose to do so and cause an accident as a result, they can be held financially accountable.