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Hours of service seek to prevent motor vehicle accidents

Semi-trucks make up a significant portion of the traffic in California. When driven safely, these vehicles can serve an important economic purpose by moving goods from place-to-place in a timely manner. Sometimes, though, these trucks are driven negligently, which can result is a motor vehicle accident that leaves innocent and unsuspecting individuals seriously injured.

The federal government tries to prevent these truck accidents from occurring by implementing and policing several regulations. Amongst them are those that pertain to hours of service. These regulations seek to ensure that truckers are not over-worked and are well-rested while driving. Those who fail to adhere to these regulations can increase the risk of causing a car accident that has serious ramifications for all involved.

According to these regulations, a trucker cannot drive more than 11 hours after taking 10 consecutive hours off. Additionally, truckers cannot operate their vehicles beyond the 14th hour following their 10-hour rest period. These truckers also can't drive if their last 30-minute break or off-duty period was more than eight hours ago. Lastly, those truckers who are carrying property cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days, and no more than 70 hours in any eight consecutive day period. Similar rules apply to those who drive passenger-carrying vehicles.

Truckers who violate these regulations can be fined, but that is relatively minor compared to the damage that can be caused to an innocent motorist who is injured in a truck accident. Fortunately, those who are hurt in one of these wrecks may be able to pursue compensation for their damages, which may include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. To succeed on one of these claims, though, an individual must prove certain legal elements, which can be challenging depending on the facts at hand. This is where a skilled legal professional may be able to assist.

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