Truck Driver Fatigue
According to a series of studies, driver drowsiness is a leading cause of accidents involving commercial vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that truck driver fatigue contributes to as much as 40 percent of all heavy truck crashes, while a National Transportation Safety Board study found that fatigue was a prominent factor in 52 percent of 107 heavy truck crashes. In 18 percent of those crashes, the driver admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that the risk of a crash effectively doubles from the 8th to the 10th hour of driving and doubles again from the 10th to the 11th hours.
In the aftermath of a truck accident, there are several different factors which must be taken into consideration by your truck accident lawyer. For example, it is vitally important that your attorney takes the time to examine the driver's log to check whether or not the driver had been operating for a lawful amount of hours. Then, during the interview or disposition, your attorney will be able to ask questions pertaining to their amount of sleep and rest prior to the accident occurring. Questions will also be asked regarding any substances used to help a driver stay alert.
In cases where the lawyer determines that fatigue played a considerable role in the accident, the next step will involve looking into their working conditions. For example, did the trucking company have guidelines which supported the driver getting adequate amounts of rest? If not, the trucking company could be potentially liable for the accident. In cases where drivers are paid per the mile or by the load, they may be financially driven to drive past their natural limits – leaving them on the road without the necessary amounts of rest. In these cases, the trucking company may be found to have encouraged drivers to work past the legally accepted amount of hours simply to increase their own profits.
Injured? Contact a truck accident lawyer at our firm!
If you were injured in a serious accident with a tractor-trailer or big rig, protect your right to claim compensation before it's too late. When you retain the services of a lawyer at our firm, we will get to work immediately in investigating the accident to determine its cause. Truck driver fatigue will be one of many issues we may consider. By thoroughly investigating the scene, the truck, trucking records, witness accounts, police reports and all other relevant evidence, we and our accident reconstruction experts will work to paint a clear picture of what occurred. This will help us prove the legal responsibility of the other party or parties so we can seek maximum compensation.