Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Injury Lawyer
The trucking industry is known for allowing drivers to spend days behind the wheel of tractor trailer with little to no sleep. While there are regulations that make it illegal for truck drivers to stay behind the wheel for a dozen hours or more, it still occurs. Fatigued truck drivers pose a safety threat to those that share the road with these large trucks. When an exhausted truck driver causes an accident, both the driver and the trucking company may be liable for damages.
Driver fatigue is a danger for anyone operating a vehicle, but it is especially dangerous for truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) understands these risks and has limitations on how many hours a truck driver can work per day, and specifically, how many hours they can drive. The FMCSA limits truck drivers to 11 hour driving shifts, but only after 10 consecutive hours off work, eight hours of which should be sleeping. Only 14 hours of driving are allowed in any 24-hour period. However, pressure from trucking companies and the desire to meet deadlines often compels truck drivers to go beyond these limits, causing fatigue and increasing the risk of deadly driving errors.
Driver Fatigue Causes Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 100,000 accidents per year are caused by driver fatigue. When that driver is behind the wheel of a tractor trailer or other large commercial vehicle, the results can be devastating. In fatal large truck accidents, it is almost always occupants of other vehicles that lose their lives. In 2016, 83% of fatalities from large truck crashes were occupants in other vehicles or non-occupants (pedestrians, cyclists, etc). When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel or is fatigued to the point of losing concentration, these fatal accidents are more likely to occur.
If you have lost a loved one in a large truck accident or were injured yourself, you may be able to receive sizable compensation for your loss or injuries. One of the factors that can determine driver fault is fatigue. Our team at Conley Griggs Partin LLP represents victims of trucking accidents, and truck driver fatigue is one of the areas we investigate when handling a truck accident lawsuit. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.