New Mexico Truck Driver Declared Imminent Hazard after Deadly Crash - Transportation Legal Blogs Posted by Neal Stewart Gainsberg - Lawyers.com

New Mexico Truck Driver Declared Imminent Hazard after Deadly Crash

Due to the size and weight of many commercial vehicles, particularly commercial trucks, they are heavily regulated by the government. Roadway accidents involving commercial vehicles and other smaller vehicles leave a high probability of serious injury and death.

One aspect of the regulations imposed upon the commercial trucking industry in particular involves Hours of Service (HOS) rules. These regulations restrict the number of hours a truck driver may drive each week. The purpose of the rules is to prevent fatigued driving which can result in disastrous consequences.

Case in point:

Earlier this year, a licensed tractor-trailer driver from New Mexico was arrested by authorities and ordered to remain off the roads after his involvement in a deadly accident in Kansas when a subsequent investigation uncovered multiple violations.

On June 13, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Evaristo Mora, was driving through a work zone on U.S. 54 in Pratt County, Kansas, when he drifted into oncoming traffic.

Hours of service violation the suspected cause

Mora’s truck impacted another tractor-trailer head-on, resulting in the fatality of the other driver as well as a passenger in Mr. Mora’s truck.

The FMCSA reports that Mr. Mora had been operating his vehicle in violation of an out of service order for a previous violation of the federal hours of service regulations. Following a roadside inspection, which took place five hours prior to the crash, Mr. Mora had been ordered out of service for 10 hours.

The tractor-trailer he was driving was also placed out of service for multiple safety violations, including excessively worn tires and faulty brakes.

After the fatal Kansas crash, authorities arrested Mr. Mora, charging him with involuntary manslaughter. He also received a citation for following the vehicle in front to closely.

FMCSA investigators reconstructed Mr. Mora’s journey using GPS and discovered he had been driving continually for at least 38 of the 45 hours leading up to the crash. In addition, it was discovered that in previous trips he had deactivated or disabled the electronic logging device in the truck.

As a result of the investigation, the FMCSA concluded Mr. Mora to be “an imminent hazard to public safety” and ordered him not to drive a commercial motor vehicle for purposes of interstate commerce.

HOS regulations

The FMCSA is the agency in charge of administering hours of service regulations for motor vehicle carriers carrying out interstate commerce activities. If a carrier only operates in one state, the HOS regulations for that state may apply. However, many states have adopted the federal HOS regulations, which may be summarized as follows:

  • Drivers may only drive a maximum of 11 hours with a 14 hour limitation in a period
  • Drivers must begin seven-day period only after having 34 consecutive hours of
  • A driver must have at least 10 hours of duty prior to starting each period
  • Within a seven-day period, drivers are not permitted to work more than 60 hours
  • If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drowsy driving truck driver, you may have the right to obtain compensation from the driver and/or their carrier. At Gainsberg Law, we are here to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. To set up a free case evaluation, call our Chicago car accident attorneys today or visit our website.

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