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Company Under Investigation For Truckers’ Hours

Truck drivers are required to follow strict federal guidelines regarding how long they can be behind the wheel of a big rig. The regulations are in place to help prevent atruck accident. Accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles can have disastrous results, so when a trucking company is found to be in violation of the federal guidelines, it is a serious offense. Santa Rosa residents might be interested to learn that a company in the state has been found to be in violation of these laws.

The guidelines states that a truck driver cannot be behind the wheel of a tractor trailer for more than one 16-hour shift a week. However, Sysco San Francisco’s drivers routinely go over that amount. Upon inspection of the digital log books, it was revealed that from April to October of this year, the company violated the 16-hour shift policy every month. In August there was a large spike — from one violation in July to 98 in August — but for most months they were still in violation.

This has several agencies dismayed. The California Highway patrol states that having drivers on the road for that long a stretch increases the chances of a fatal accident occurring. A Sysco San Francisco driver was involved in a serious collision recently, when one of their trucks slammed into the back of a vehicle sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. The CHP fears that if Sysco is allowed to continue this practice, it will lead to more, and worse accidents.

Part of the reason Sysco has been able to get away with this many driving violations is that the CHP has to count on routine stops or checkins at weigh stations to find out how long a driver had been out on the road. There are inspections of driving records completed by the Department of Transportation, but they are usually done only once every two years.

It is apparent that Sysco San Francisco is creating a dangerous situation for those who share the road with their truck. Anyone who is injured due to an accident with any vehicle is well within their rights to seek compensation for their injuries and material losses. A legal professional with experience in this area could help someone who wanted to take this approach for compensation.

Source: NBC Bay Area, “Sysco Foods Records Reveal Drivers’ Hours Exceeding Federal Limits, Putting Public Safety at Risk” Vicky Nguyen, Felipe Escamilla and Kevin Nious, Nov. 29, 2013