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How to find truck driver fatigue in any serious truck accident

Rule 1 of “Big 10 Rules of the Road”

  • Presented by: Steven M. Gursten
  • Description: This is the second of a series of 13 videos on handling truck crash cases. In this video, Steve Gursten shares Rule 1 of his “Big 10 Rules of the Road” with his fellow truck attorneys, during the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group conference in New Orleans. Rule 1 shows attorneys how to find truck driver fatigue in truck accident lawsuits.
  • Length: 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Video Transcript:

Slide: Hours of service

A. AKA Driver fatigue

B. Driving doesn’t always mean working

C. On-duty driving time is not limited to work for the motor carrier

Guys, hours of service is there is so many of your cases. Driver fatigue is right there, it’s right under your noses. You just have to find it. So remember what we said this morning, drivers are restricted to 14 hours on duty, an 11 hour driving day. They may not drive after 60 hours on duty in a seven-day period. This is all in the materials by the way. May not drive after 70 hours in an eight-day period. Those are the rules, but what does “on-duty” mean? And this is where a lot of us make the mistake. On-duty means a lot of different things. And you find hours of service violations in a lot of different cases. On-duty means waiting at the terminal, it means loading or unloading the truck, doing your pre-trip inspection. It means waiting around for repairs to be made. It means waiting around for inspections. In other words, there are so many things and they all count for hours of service. And if you’re in Michigan, or upstate New York, or I guess Texas, where you have Mexican truckers coming in, what you have to realize is when you have truckers coming in from other countries to the United States, they also have to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service regulations as well. And most of the Canadian companies, don’t, at least when they enter Michigan. So, that’s the rule and when you actually look at what on-duty means, you’re going to find that in a lot of cases. So what’s the reptile? Well the reptile is then connecting what hours of service really means. That driver fatigue is just as dangerous as drunk driving. That driving fatigue causes the same impairments in judgment and perception and reaction time, as drunk driving.

How Michigan Auto Law can help with your truck crash

If you’re a lawyer and you need help with your truck accident case, take a look at our online guide, Help for attorneys handling truck accident cases. Here’s a blog on understanding truck driver hours of service and another on how to nab the tired trucker in a deposition.

If you’ve been in a truck accident in Michigan, call (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our truck accident attorneys today. The call and the advice is free.

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