Lakewood Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
Truck drivers are under constant pressure to make sure their deliveries are completed on time. As a result, some drivers will push themselves to work long and difficult hours. Though this effort makes their delivery times quick and efficient, they could be held liable for damages if their fatigue leads to an accident.
Get in touch with a Lakewood truck driver fatigue accident lawyer if you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of an accident. A dedicated injury attorney could take the time to learn more about your case and who should be held liable.
What are the Dangers of Driving While Overtired?
The risks associated with drowsy driving are very real. Tens of thousands of crashes and hundreds of deaths occur each year in fatigue related traffic accidents. Federal statistics indicate that driver fatigue is a factor in roughly 13% of truck accidents in the US each year.
Fatigued truck drivers can fall asleep at the wheel, causing them to =lose control of their vehicle. The trucker can also accidentally run into another driver. Even if the trucker does not fall asleep, their reaction time would drastically decrease. Given the fact that drivers may only have a split second to make a last minute decision to avoid an accident, truckers need plenty of sleep to make sure they have the quickest reaction time to respond to the changing environment that takes place on the roadway.
What Rules and Regulations are in Place to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue?
Commercial truck drivers are required to follow hours of service regulations set by the federal government. These rules are designed to keep truckers off public roads and to reduce fatigue while driving. The truck driver requirements place limitations on when and how long truckers are allowed to drive and work. Truckers are supposed to follow these duty limits at all times.
How Many Hours Per Day is a Truck Driver Allowed to Work?
A trucker is permitted a period of 14 consecutive hours, in which they might drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14 hour driving window begins the moment a driver starts any kind of work. Off duty time, including naps or lunch breaks do not stop the clock on the 14 hour driving window. Once the driver has reached the end of the 14 hour driving window, they are not permitted to drive again until they’ve been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours or the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours of duty.
How do Drivers and their Employers Keep Track of Logged Hours?
On December 16, 2015, the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a new mandate requiring most truck and bus drivers to begin electronically tracking their working time, particularly their driving time. The primary purpose of this is for more accurately recording the hours of commercial truck driver spend working and driving commercial vehicles. The electronic logging mandate applies to commercial trucks and buses used in interstate commerce that weigh 10,001 pounds or more.
When Would a Driver be Absolved of Responsibility?
If a jury determines that the fault was that of the trucking company for keeping the truck on the road too long, providing the trucker with a faulty truck, overloading the truck or not balancing the load of the truck, the truck driver could be absolved of responsibility. However, in certain cases, fault is apportioned between the truck driver and the trucking company if the driver acted negligently in some capacity.
Retain the Assistance of a Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney in Lakewood
Accidents involving fatigued truck drivers are often serious. Considering the lack of ability to avoid hazards on the roads or make a quick decision to avoid an accident, victims could suffer catastrophic injuries if a collision were to occur.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of an overworked truck driver, get in touch with a Lakewood truck driver fatigue accident lawyer today. An attorney could sit with you to discuss the details of your case and inform you of your eligibility to obtain compensation.