Oregon truck driver who fell asleep on Interstate 5 faces negligent driving charges

James H. Gerritt, 22, of Albany, Oregon faces numerous charges including negligent driving after he fell asleep at the wheel of his Peterbilt truck and crashed his tractor trailer rig into an unoccupied Washington Department of Transportation truck according to Tacoma’s The News Tribune.
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The trucking accident occurred early Thursday morning on Interstate 5 near Tumwater, Washington. The accident caused a huge traffic jam which lasted for hours and caused traffic to back up for more than five miles.

Luckily, no one was injured in the accident.

This accident brings to the forefront regulations for truck drivers. In this case, it appears that Gerritt falsified his log book and did not take the prescribed rests which is probably why he fell asleep at the wheel.

Trucker Safety Rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed a new set of rules for Hours-of-Service (HOS) for truck drivers. Because driver fatigue is often the cause of big rig accidents, the FMCA proposes requiring longer breaks and shorter driving times. These proposed changes have come about after several major bus accidents in the past year. Current rules require:

  • Property-carrying drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 hours of consecutive off-duty.
  • Passenger carrying drivers can only drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 hours of consecutive hours off-duty.
  • Property-carrying drivers may not drive beyond 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty after 10 hours off-duty.
  • Passenger-carrying drivers may not drive after having been on duty for 14 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty.

Click here for a the Proposed changes for Property-Carrying Drivers.

Truck drivers are required to keep a log book of both their work and on-duty hours.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

Related Posts:

Washington State Patrol truck safety emphasis yields violations

Oregon man sues Washington trucking firm for $4.5M after injury accident

Department of Transportation applies ban to texting by commercial truck and bus drivers

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.