The Danger of Truck Driver Fatigue

Were You Injured Because of a Truck Driver’s Negligence?

No matter what vehicle you are operating, driving while drowsy can dramatically increase the risk of an accident. One of the leading causes of 18-wheeler or commercial truck accidents is driver fatigue. This is due to the rigorous schedule to deliver goods that truckers face. This pressure requires truck drivers to work long hours. Many of those hours are usually worked at night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue and drowsiness plays a role in 56,000 accidents each year. Resulting in over 40,000 injuries and 1,500 fatalities. Driver fatigue clearly presents a significant danger to other motorists on the road.

 

Dangers of Driving Fatigued

Feeling sleepy or having trouble keeping your eyes open is only one form of driver fatigue. In general, any state of exhaustion is driver negligence. Fatigue can affect you by slowing down your reaction times. Also it impairs your judgement, and decreases awareness. Adelaide Centre for Sleep Research did a study on drivers. They found that drivers who have been awake for 24+ straight hours display driving capabilities that are the equivalent of a person with a 0.1 blood alcohol content. This means a severely fatigued driver presents the same threat as one who is legally drunk.

 

Are there driving regulations to help prevent fatigue?

Yes. Trucking companies have the legal responsibility to protect not only the safety of their drivers but also others traveling over the roadways. There are numerous laws and rules in place regulating truck drivers. A set of regulations enacted to help prevent driver fatigue are the Hours of Service Rules. These are crucial in reducing the risks of a truck accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces a number of rules. These rules are to prevent commercial drivers from operating vehicles without proper time off duty.

Hours of Service Rules for Freight Trucks

  • 11 Hour Driving limit – May drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • 14-hour limit – May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Extended off duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • Rest Breaks – May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of drivers last off duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.
  • 60/70-hour limit – May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. Also, a driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty

Contact A Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents caused by driver fatigue is an accident caused by negligence. If you have been a victim of a truck accident caused by a fatigued driver you have the right to file a personal injury claim holding the truck company and its driver liable for the emotional, physical and financial damages you have suffered. If you have lost a loved one due to a truck driver fatigue accident, then you may have the right to file a wrongful death suit.

Do not hesitate. If you have been injured as the result of a truck accident contact Walker Texas Lawyer today by calling 800-732-2934.

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