Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue
More than 15 million commercial wagons transport over 70% of US goods, every year. This translates to a large number of truck drivers being on duty. As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as many as 13% of commercial trucking drivers are fatigued. Truck driver fatigue often results from long hours at work, insufficient sleep, mental exertion, stringent deadlines, and strenuous activities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsiness leads to 56,000 collisions each year, which in turn results in 40,000 injuries and 1,500 fatalities. Statistics thus paint a grim picture and show how trucks impose immense danger to the other motorists on the road.
If you’ve become a victim of a trucking accident caused by a fatigued driver, reach out to our truck injury lawyers in Alexandria.
Laws Designed to Prevent Truck Accidents
Hours of Service:
FMCSA sets particular hours of service for truck drivers that include taking breaks at regular intervals. These stringent regulations are in place to safeguard drivers from fatigue and exhaustion. As per rules, trucking drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours only, that too after taking a break of 10 hours. Also, the driver cannot drive for more than 60 hours in a week. Though these rules are specific, unfortunately, not all trucking companies follow these rules.
Driver fatigue is dangerous and it impacts driving in the following ways:
- Slows down reflexes
- Minimizes awareness
- Hinders judgment
- Impairs focus
What if I Suspect Fatigue as a Cause of Trucking Accident
If you get involved in a trucking accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. It’s also prudent to inform a law enforcement officer who documents the accident and prepares a report. The next step would be to seek the help of a seasoned trucking accident attorney. As trucking accident cases are complicated and need to be investigated, only experienced lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and resources to carry out a lengthy investigation.
Our competent trucking injury lawyers in Alexandria are associated with seasoned investigative teams who apply various methods of investigating driver fatigue. Some of these include:
Check the truck’s records:
Truck drivers need to record their hours of service by using multiple methods. Modern-day trucks have built-in systems to record the hours spent by the driver behind the wheel. Other trucks have logbooks in which drivers need to enter work hours, manually. Truck drivers are often remunerated as per the records contained in the logbooks. Thus, when determining liability for fatigued driving, it’s crucial to check the logbooks.
Analyze other records:
In case trucking records are not available, our attorneys check other histories to assess fatigue:
- Toll receipts received on freeways, bridges, and roads can be used to calculate how long the truck driver has been working.
- Gas receipts are often stamped with date and time. Personal and company credit cards can show dates and times as well.
- Surveillance cameras at intersections and freeways can be used to analyze the driver’s actions, demeanor, and other signs of fatigue.
An Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, get in touch with our trucking injury lawyers in Alexandria. We work with a core team of clerks, assistants, and paralegals to ensure that you receive justice and the compensation you are entitled to. Our lawyers also handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get paid unless we recover monetary compensation for our clients.
For further queries, call us at (318) 527-4932