Semi-truck accidents are an unfortunate reality on American roads and highways. The impact of semi-truck accidents can be devastating for those involved, resulting in severe injury or even death. For any individual involved in a semi-truck accident, the immediate aftermath can be overwhelming and traumatic. However, knowing what to do in the moments following an accident can make all the difference in the outcome of the accident. Understanding regulations and guidelines can also help you take the necessary steps to protect your safety and rights.


Semi-Trucks on US Roads


On any given day, there are an estimated 2 million semi-trucks on the roads of the US, constituting approximately 1 out of every 15 vehicles. The trucking industry, which employs over 3.5 million drivers and is worth over $700 billion, is witnessing continuous growth in response to the rising demand for goods. The ATA predicts a 36% increase in freight volumes by 2032, necessitating an additional 1.1 million truck drivers.


Importance of Regulations: Driving Hours and Safety


Truck drivers are crucial in transportation as they travel long distances to deliver goods nationwide. However, this profession also carries risks, including the potential for accidents. The long hours spent driving can affect a driver’s health, leading to possible mental and physical fatigue. These factors, combined with the pressure to meet deadlines, can result in excessive work hours and impaired driving capabilities. It is essential to adhere to the regulations for driving hours. By following these guidelines, drivers can ensure they are well-rested and can safely complete their routes. While this profession may involve risks, truck drivers’ proper attention to safety regulations helps maintain road safety for everyone.


How many hours can a truck driver drive?


Semi-truck accidents pose a significant concern, as they can cause considerable harm to individuals on the road. To prevent these accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented hours of service regulations that strictly restrict the number of hours a driver can be on the road without taking a break. These regulations are critical in ensuring truck drivers rest adequately, stay alert, and fulfill their duties securely. Safety remains the utmost priority, and all drivers must adhere to these guidelines to safeguard themselves and others on the road. It’s worth noting that not all drivers are subject to these limits despite the strict regulations in place.


Who can use the 60 or 70-hour limit?


The hours of service regulations apply to drivers operating commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds, transporting hazardous materials, or carrying more than eight passengers for compensation. However, some drivers have exemptions from these regulations. For instance, drivers operating within a 100-mile radius of their starting location and returning within 12 hours are not subject to the hours of service regulations. We call these drivers short-haul drivers.

Another group of drivers exempt from these regulations is those operating under the agricultural exemption. Agricultural drivers transporting crops or livestock within a state or a 150-mile radius of their starting location are not required to follow the regulations. However, they must maintain accurate logs and comply with various other requirements.

Drivers transporting certain commodities, like livestock, bees, and farm-raised fish, fall under the commodity-specific exemption. These drivers can drive up to 11 hours during 14 and 70 hours in eight days before taking a mandatory 34-hour break.

Finally, certain industry-specific drivers can also be exempt from the regulations. For instance, drivers transporting construction materials and equipment within a 50-mile radius and returning to the same location are exempt.


What is the 11-hour limit?


The 11-hour limit is a rule that commercial drivers who operate semi-trucks or other large vehicles over a certain weight limit must follow. Under this rule, drivers can work a maximum of 11 hours in 14 hours. Once they reach this limit, they must take a break of at least ten consecutive hours before resuming driving. The implementation of this rule aims to ensure that drivers obtain sufficient rest and prevent fatigue while on the road.

Driving for extended periods without taking breaks can result in fatigue and distraction, significantly elevating the risk of semi-truck accidents. Fatigued drivers are more prone to making mistakes or overlooking crucial details on the road, such as traffic signs or other vehicles. Additionally, they may experience slower reaction times and impaired judgment, making avoiding accidents or making informed decisions while driving more challenging.

Although the 11-hour limit enhances road safety, not all drivers adhere to it. Some drivers might be tempted to push themselves to drive more hours to meet tight deadlines or increase their earnings. This practice can be perilous and contribute to road accidents and injuries.


Other Important Rules Truck Drivers Must Follow


Semi-truck accidents can cause catastrophic consequences, resulting in extensive damage, injuries, and even fatalities. That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established strict regulations for all truck drivers. These regulations aim to prevent such accidents by imposing rules and guidelines that truck drivers must adhere to while on the job.


Regular Vehicle Inspections


Another critical rule that truck drivers need to follow is the regular inspection of their vehicles. Truck drivers must thoroughly inspect the truck before starting their trip. This regulation includes checking the truck’s brakes, tires, lights, and other mechanical components. By regularly inspecting their vehicles, truck drivers can detect any potential mechanical issues and fix them before they become a problem on the road.


Weight Limits


Truck drivers must also follow weight limits imposed on commercial vehicles to prevent accidents resulting from overloaded trucks. Overloaded trucks can cause significant damage to the vehicle, cargo, and other drivers on the road. Additionally, truck drivers are responsible for properly loading and evenly distributing all cargo throughout the trailer.


Avoid Distracted Driving


Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on the road, and truck drivers are no exception. Truck drivers must keep a keen eye on the road while driving and avoid distractions. Distractions include texting, talking on the phone, or eating while driving, which could divert attention from the road and lead to dangerous accidents.

Ohio has passed a new distracted driving law that limits drivers from using their cell phones and other electronic devices in the car. Under ORC 4511.204, holding your phone, placing it in your lap, or propping it on any other body part while the car is operating is illegal.


Drug and Alcohol Use


All truck drivers are subject to drug and alcohol use testing at various times. This prohibition is because impaired driving can lead to life-threatening accidents. Therefore, truck drivers need to keep in mind that even a small amount of drug or alcohol use can seriously impair their ability to drive, making them a hazard on the road.


Knowing and adhering to the regulations set forth by the FMCSA is essential for every truck driver. These critical regulations promote road safety and help prevent catastrophic accidents.


The Devastating Impact of Semi-Truck Accidents


The trucking industry operates under strict rules and regulations to prioritize road safety. Despite these measures, accidents involving semi-trucks can still occur, causing devastating consequences for those involved. Families may experience a sudden loss of loved ones, while individuals may face life-altering injuries. Every driver should clearly understand the trucking industry’s regulations and be aware of the necessary actions to take in the event of an accident. Through preparation and knowledge, individuals can safeguard themselves and their families from the widespread impact of a semi-truck accident.


What Happens After the Accident?


Accidents can be life-altering experiences, and when they involve large commercial trucks like semi-trucks, the intensity can be even greater. While the immediate aftermath of a truck accident is devastating, what happens after can be just as significant. Many questions are unanswered, and factors like insurance, medical bills, and vehicle damages come into play. What happens days later if the driver is at fault?


Hospital Visits and Recovery


If you ever get involved in a semi-truck accident, one of the first steps is to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel okay, it’s important to remember that such accidents can cause severe injuries, which may be masked by adrenaline. Symptoms like whiplash or concussions may go unnoticed initially but can lead to complications later. Prioritizing your health and promptly seeking proper medical care after a semi-truck accident is crucial. It helps ensure early detection and appropriate treatment of injuries that greatly affect your overall recovery.


Vehicle Damage and Inspection


Inspecting the damage to your vehicle is crucial. It not only helps you determine the safety of your car for driving but is also necessary for filing a claim with the truck driver’s insurance company. To accurately determine the cost of damages, it is crucial to have a professional inspect your car thoroughly. This inspection will cover exterior damage and any internal issues that may have occurred.


Dealing with Auto Insurance


Knowing that the other driver’s insurance company will likely provide coverage for damages and expenses in a semi-truck accident where you are not at fault is comforting. However, navigating the claims process alone can be daunting, and unfortunately, insurance companies may attempt to minimize your compensation. This is why having an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney by your side is crucial. Your local attorney can guide you through negotiations and secure fair compensation for your injuries and losses.


Mental and Emotional Recovery


The aftermath of a semi-truck accident can also take a toll on your mental and emotional state. You may experience feelings of shock, anxiety, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the collision. Speaking with a therapist or counselor is advisable to help you work through your emotions and move forward. Additionally, if you have sustained any injuries, you may be dealing with long-term physical limitations that affect your ability to do simple things like drive or work.


Lawsuit and Legal Matters


If you were not at fault in a semi-truck accident, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or their company for compensation. While this may be lengthy, a lawsuit can help you receive full reimbursement for all your medical bills, property damage, and other damages incurred due to the accident. It is best to have an attorney familiar with truck accidents to guide you through the claims or lawsuit process and ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.


Semi-Truck Accidents: Seeking Competent Legal Representation


The Impact of Semi-Truck Accidents is a serious matter that can profoundly affect individuals’ lives. When facing physical injuries or financial hardships stemming from a truck accident, it is crucial to seek competent legal representation. As accomplished Toledo truck accident attorneys, our team is dedicated to offering expert legal guidance and support to those affected by such incidents. We tirelessly work to ensure our clients receive the necessary resources to rebuild their lives and confidently move forward.

If you reside in or around any of the areas we serve in Ohio and Michigan – MaumeeDefianceFremontFindlayLima, Mansfield, Toledo, and Monroe – you can count on having one of our best truck accident lawyers from Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault to represent you in a personal injury or wrongful death case.  With a local personal injury attorney near you, help is just a phone call away.


Schedule a Consultation with a Truck Accident Lawyer Today


Have you been in a semi-truck accident and are now searching for a reliable “truck accident lawyer near me” in Michigan or Ohio? Look no further than your Toledo, Ohio personal injury attorneys Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault. Our local personal injury lawyers have successfully represented numerous clients in similar situations with a remarkable track record of success. We understand the severe consequences these accidents can have, and we are passionate about ensuring our clients obtain the compensation they deserve. Our dedication to our clients is unparalleled, and we are here to guide you through the legal process. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 or use our online form to schedule a consultation.

Call us at 419-843-6663 to get started, or use our easy online contact form today.

A free consultation with an experienced toledo trucking accident lawyer at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault can offer peace of mind. Our consultations can offer guidance on legal options, case evaluations, and potential compensation. The free consultations assure accident victims of legal assistance without financial cost. Personal Injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we recover compensation for you.