California Motor Vehicle Code 21702 makes it illegal to drive your big rig or commercial bus if you have not gotten an adequate amount of sleep.
The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended the installation of electronic record keeping devices in all trucks to regulate rest periods. Currently, truckers are required to keep logs of drive and sleep time. The logs most often are hand written and can easily be misleading. Enforcement of California Vehicle Code 21702 is mostly based on the honor system, but installation of electronic recording devices would change this. If the NTSB can convince trucking companies to use electronic devices, the roads would be much safer for us all.
The Obama administration and several safety regulating organizations are working on legislation that will further restrict the hours truckers can be on the roads. Currently, truckers have to rest 8 hours for every 12 hours they drive. These big rigs are heavy and dangerous, and having a tired driver behind the wheel is like driving down the street with a loaded weapon pointed at anyone who may be in front of them. Allowing truckers to drive for 12 consecutive hours can have deadly consequences.
Accidents involving semi-trucks and commercial busses are some of the most deadly. A car does not stand a chance when involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler. Big rigs can weigh as much as 40 tons when fully loaded!
California has the highest volume of tractor-trailer traffic in all the states. On average, there are nearly 500 fatalities each year involving truck crashes on California highways.
At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys we want everyone to be safe on the roads. Unfortunately, accidents happen on the roads each day. If you have been injured in an accident involving a bus or truck there are a few things you remember to do:
- Seek medical attention immediately from either an emergency room or a qualified physician.
- Keep all medical appointments and follow the doctor’s instructions exactly
- Keep accurate and detailed records of any time missed from work as a result of the accident
- Keep records of any additional expenses incurred as a result of the accident
- Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle. It is best to have someone take photos at the scene, if they are not in need of medical attention. If photos cannot be taken at the scene, photograph the damage before taking the car in for repairs.
- Speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.
To find out more on this and other traffic laws, please see the complete listing of California Motor Vehicle Codes.