The idea of becoming self-employed has become more and more attractive over the past few years. It is a trend that seems to be connected with the shifting work/life balance. More people want more flexibility with their jobs, and one of the most apparent trends to secure this is to go self-employed, and more specifically, to become a self-employed driver. Uber has exploded, the need for van drivers has risen, as has the number of companies contracting out their driver requirements as a way to cut costs. But with driving jobs come rules, regulations and best practices, all of which are required by law. These are there to protect you, as well as others on the road. So here’s what you need to know:
While the rules differ a bit depending on what capacity you operate as a commercial driver, and where you reside, there are rules regarding how long you are allowed to drive for. One of the most common rules that drivers must comply with is the 14-hour driving window. This rule states drivers are allowed to work in 14-hour windows. However, during each 14-hour time frame, each driver is only allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours. The rest of the time must be dedicated to rest and breaks. Why? Because it will reduce any weariness, and allow drivers to maintain some form of consistent sleeping pattern.
Why are their time requirements in place?
With more and more people on the road, and the need for on-demand to operate in all functions and facets of our lives, it is more important than ever that we take driving responsibilities seriously. The longer a person drives the more susceptible they are to drowsiness. It could be you are a taxi driver that works a split shift, or a truck driver that has a 11.00pm delivery schedule to meet followed by a 4am scheduled delivery. As such, fatigue among drivers has become a big issue. That is where the rest requirement comes in. it is designed to prevent accidents and serious injury from happening due to fatigue, whilst also preventing drivers, and companies, from choosing between safety and profit.
What happens when the rules aren’t followed?Driver’s that don’t comply to the rule of law are far more likely to be at risk of fatigue and thus drowsy driving. What’s more, it doesn’t matter what vehicle is being driven - whether a taxi, a van, or a lorry - they are known to cause serious harm when suffering a loss of control. As such, it is always important you speak to an attorney if you have been involved in an accident. Whether you were the driver or not, seeking immediate advice from experts, like those found at www.warriorsforjustice.com, will help you through the legal processes that follow all driving accidents. The rules are there to prevent it from every going this far but, if they do, seeking medical attention and legal advice should be your first moves.