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Truck Driver Fatigue and Trucking Accidents

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Truck drivers play a critical role in the economy by transporting goods across the country. However, long hauls and demanding schedules can often lead to truck driver fatigue, resulting in some of the most catastrophic accidents on our highways.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident due to truck driver fatigue, it’s important to seek the help of a top-rated truck accident attorney.

Truck driver fatigue sign

The dangers of truck driver fatigue

Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue that affects the safety of everyone on the road. Fatigue can impair a truck driver’s ability to make quick decisions, react to unexpected situations, and stay alert behind the wheel.

When a truck driver is fatigued, their ability to judge distances and speeds can also be compromised, making it difficult for them to avoid accidents. Recent reports suggest 1 in 25 people have fallen asleep while driving.

Work hours regulated by DOT

The federal government recognizes the dangers of truck driver fatigue and has implemented regulations to help prevent it. These regulations include limits on driving hours and mandatory rest periods. Unfortunately, some trucking companies and drivers ignore these regulations, putting themselves and other drivers at risk. The new 34-hour rest rule has given drivers more work flexibility but made it harder to monitor working time.


Why you need a top-rated trucking accident attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck due to truck driver fatigue, you need a top-rated personal injury attorney on your side. 18-wheeler accidents can be complex, involving multiple parties and insurance companies. Plus, the investigation of a truck accident requires expertise.

Big rig crash

What are the most common types of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue?

Driver fatigue is a serious issue that can result in devastating truck accidents. When overworked, truck drivers may experience exhaustion, lack of focus, and decreased reaction times. Being tired can lead to a variety of different types of truck accidents, including:

Rear-end collisions:

When a fatigued truck driver fails to notice that the vehicle in front of them has slowed or stopped, they may collide with the other vehicle.

Rollover accidents:

Fatigue can lead to a truck driver losing control of their vehicle, resulting in a rollover accident. These accidents are hazardous because they can result in serious injuries or even death. If hazardous materials are being carried, the risk goes sky-high.

Jackknife accidents:

A jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s cab and trailer angle toward each other, usually due to the driver slamming on the brakes. Fatigue can make it difficult for a driver to control their vehicle, adequately leading to a jackknife accident.

Run-off-the-road accidents:

Fatigue can cause a driver to drift off the road, resulting in a run-off-the-road accident. Running off the highway accidents can cause serious injuries to the driver. Also, accidents with stalled or parked big rigs are possible.

If you have been involved in an accident and suspect driver fatigue, it is important to speak with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney who can help you get maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact a top-rated personal injury attorney in Houston to discuss your legal options.

Read More:What Causes Truck Accidents

How can we reduce the number of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue?

Truck accidents caused by driver fatigue are a serious concern for everyone on the road. Several steps can be taken to reduce the number of these accidents.

Follow the safety rules.

Firstly, trucking companies must ensure that their drivers follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service regulations. These regulations limit the hours a driver can operate a commercial vehicle and require adequate rest periods.


Secondly, drivers should be educated about the dangers of fatigue and how to recognize the signs of exhaustion. They should also know strategies to combat fatigue, such as getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and taking breaks to stretch and move around. All truckers should be encouraged to take breaks and rest when tired.


Thirdly, technology can be crucial in reducing truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. Electronic logging devices can help track drivers’ hours and ensure they are not exceeding their limits. In addition, wearable technology, such as smartwatches or fitness trackers, can monitor vital signs and alert drivers when they are becoming fatigued.

Read More: Understanding Logbooks in Truck Accident Lawsuits


Lastly, stricter enforcement of regulations and penalties for noncompliance can deter trucking companies and drivers who do not prioritize safety.

In summary, reducing truck accidents caused by driver fatigue requires a multifaceted approach involving education, technology, and enforcement. 

What kind of training do truck drivers need to understand the dangers of driver fatigue?

Truck drivers require specialized training to understand the dangers of driver fatigue. This training typically includes education on fatigue’s physiological and psychological effects and strategies for preventing and managing fatigue on the road. Drivers may also receive instruction on the importance of maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, staying hydrated, and taking regular rest breaks to rest and recharge. 

Additionally, trucking companies must implement policies and procedures to minimize the risk of driver fatigue, such as limiting the hours a driver can work each day or week. By investing in comprehensive training and safety measures, trucking companies can train to ensure their drivers are equipped to recognize and mitigate the risks associated with driver fatigue.

Some trucking companies are desperate for new drivers; training comes second to making money. We have seen many negligent hiring cases in our years of winning truck accident lawsuits.

What are the signs of driver fatigue in truck drivers?

Signs of truck driver fatigue

Driver fatigue is a severe issue and particularly dangerous for truck drivers. Truck drivers work long hours and are at an increased risk of experiencing fatigue. So, what are the warning signs of driver fatigue in truck drivers?


One of the most apparent signs of driver fatigue is yawning. If a truck driver yawns frequently, this is a sign that they are feeling tired. Another warning sign is difficulty keeping one’s eyes open or staying focused on the road. If drivers have trouble keeping their eyes open, they may need to pull over and rest.

Trouble staying in a lane

Another warning sign of driver fatigue in truck drivers is drifting between lanes. If a driver is having trouble staying in their lane, this could be a sign that they are tired. Other symptoms include slower reaction times, increased irritability, and feeling more emotional than usual.

It’s important to remember that driver fatigue can be dangerous and lead to serious accidents. If you are a truck driver and you are experiencing any of these warning signs, it’s crucial that you pull over and rest.

Breaks help deal with fatigue

Taking a short break will help you feel more alert and focused and help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation on the road.

If you have been involved in a car accident with a truck driver experiencing driver fatigue, seek the advice of a top-rated personal injury attorney. A top-rated lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and help you get compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Accidents involving truck drivers can be incredibly dangerous, mainly if the driver is fatigued.

Fatigue can impair a driver’s ability to react to changes on the road and increase the likelihood of dangerous mistakes. If you have been involved in an accident with a fatigued truck driver, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and seek the advice of a top-rated personal injury attorney in the greater Houston area.

How to prove driver fatigue contributed to causing a crash.

Proving that a driver was fatigued during an accident can be challenging. However, several factors can be used to support a claim of driver fatigue. For example, if the driver had been on the road for an extended period without taking a break, this could be evidence of fatigue. Additionally, if the driver had a history of violations related to driving hours, this could be used to support a claim of fatigue.

Cell phone records

Cell phone records can often be used to check the driver’s locations and hours of service. Many truckers fudge their working hours, and cell phone data can help verify the data.

Another key factor to consider is the warning signs of driver fatigue.

As mentioned earlier, yawning, difficulty keeping eyes open, and drifting between lanes are all potential indicators of fatigue. These warning signs can support a claim that the driver was fatigued during the accident.

Start Investigation early

If you have been involved in an accident with a fatigued truck driver, seeking medical attention immediately and documenting any injuries you have sustained is important. Additionally, it’s crucial to obtain a copy of the police report and get the best truck accident lawyer to gather any other evidence that may support your claim.

Read More: Houston Truck Driver Error Attorney

Call the Truck Accident Attorney Greg Baumgartner at Baumgartner Law Firm for Help!

Contact us for a free consultation on your rights and options. Baumgartner Law Firm has won truck accident cases for over 35 years and can help you too!

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069

(281) 587-1111

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