Are There Sleep Laws For Truck Drivers?

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Are There Sleep Laws For Truck Drivers?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Accidents that involve a truck can lead to serious or even life-threatening injuries, especially for those who are operating the smaller of the two vehicles. When a truck accident is caused by a truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel, the impact can be incredibly frustrating, especially when considering that the injuries caused by the accident could have been avoided if the truck driver was not sleepy.

For this reason, there are strict rules in place to regulate the amount of rest and sleep that a truck driver has in between shifts. These laws are meant to provide protection for both the driver of the truck and the people who are on the roads as well.

When drivers violate the law and cause injuries in a drowsy driving crash, you should speak with a Chicago truck accident attorney from Malman Law immediately.

Understanding Sleep Laws for Truck Drivers

In order to keep trucks and their drivers safe on the road, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted regulations around shift times and limits for property and passenger-carrying drivers. In addition to the regulations around drive time spent behind the wheel, there are also specific instructions on how many hours a truck driver must spend in the sleeper berth of the truck.

Truck drivers are required to a 10-hour period of time in which they are off duty. During this period of time, they are required to spend at least ten total hours in the sleeper berth of the truck. These regulations are meant to keep truck drivers from falling asleep at the wheel and from causing serious accidents when they are driving. They are also put in place for the safety and health of the drivers. The penalty for ignoring the rules of the FMCSA includes hefty fines and potentially the suspension of the driver’s license.

If a Truck Driver Falls Asleep at the Wheel

One of the most dangerous scenarios on the road is when a truck driver is fatigued after too many hours of driving and falls asleep behind the wheel. This can lead to all sorts of different accidents, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Rollover accident
  2. Head-on collision
  3. Lane changing accident
  4. Side-swipe accident
  5. Jackknife accident
  6. Rear end collisions

In the event of a drowsy driving accident that involves a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention, even if you do not believe that you have been seriously injured. This way, if injuries do surface in the future, you will have medical proof that you were examined after the accident. Additionally, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced truck driver accident attorney to learn more about your next steps.

Contact a Skilled Truck Driver Accident Lawyer Right Away

If you have been involved in an accident in which the truck driver potentially fell asleep at the wheel, it is important to understand your legal rights. At Malman Law, our team of experienced legal professionals can help you to understand your options in the event of a truck driver accident. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us as soon as possible. We are here and ready to help.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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