Drivers in New Mexico face a variety of risks on a daily basis. Commercial vehicle accidents are just one type of risk that can cause severe damage or even loss of life depending on the circumstances.
While it’s imperative that you drive safely and follow the rules of the road, commercial truck drivers must exercise even greater caution given the complexity of the task at hand. When commercial truckers fail to operate their vehicle reasonably, are careless, or purposely violate rules, they put you and all other drivers who share the road at risk.
We’ve represented clients still recovering from their injuries after crashing with a semi-truck or big rig, so we know how devastating commercial accidents can be. Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. is dedicated to serving your legal needs so you can focus on what matters most in the aftermath of a serious accident.
One major risk for commercial truck drivers is fatigue. That’s why there are federal regulations in place intended on preventing fatigued and drowsy driving. While laws vary on the state level, New Mexico uses hours of service regulations that are consistent with current federal rules.
Each duty period lasts 34 hours, after which time a reset occurs. Drivers are permitted to be on-duty for 14 hours before the mandatory 10-hour break takes place. However, they’re only permitted to drive for 11 consecutive hours during the duty period, meaning they can perform other tasks related to work except operate a commercial vehicle. A half-hour break must also be taken by hour 8 of the drive. During a 7-8 consecutive day period, drivers may not drive after 60-70 hours on duty. Analyzing a driver’s hours are complex and require expertise we can offer at Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C.
While many trucking companies have processes in place to ensure drivers maintain hours of service regulations, drivers can still find ways to sidestep regulations and drive longer than allowed by law. In other situations, the company may be at fault for the violations. Some trucking companies pressure drivers into violating hours of services rules, and drivers often comply out of fear of losing their jobs.
This can lead to a dangerous situation on the road. Driving while tired can be just as hazardous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Fatigue can reduce a person’s reaction time, affect their hand-eye coordination, and impair their judgement. And when commercial vehicles are traveling at high speeds, the risk of serious injuries is even greater.
Pursuing a trucking company for wrongdoing is a complex undertaking. A company is bound to have more legal and financial resources than an individual, which might negatively impact your chance of preparing a successful case. Our attorneys at Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. take pride in defending our clients when they’re injured by misconduct. We’re also passionate about holding companies and corporations responsible for wrongdoing to prevent others from facing the same experience.