How Tired Truck Drivers Cause Accidents
If you have been involved in a truck accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Getting into a collision with a large truck can be a scary and traumatic experience. Fatigue is often a factor in truck accidents.
Why Tired Truck Drivers Cause Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, around 13 percent of commercial vehicle drivers who crashed were fatigued during the accident. Truck drivers are more likely to feel fatigued at night, but fatigue-related accidents can occur at any time of the day as well.
There are several reasons truck drivers may be more prone to driving while tired than drivers of other vehicles. One reason is that they often work long hours. They not only drive for many hours each day, but they also drive for many consecutive hours in a row. Driving for so long can quickly get monotonous and tiring.
Truck drivers often wake up early in the morning to drive or stay up late at night so that the supplies they are carrying can get to their destinations in time.
Truck drivers are important for getting food, medical supplies, mail, and other commercial items to destinations such as supermarkets and warehouses. They are often pressured by their employers to keep up with the demand. Not only can this cause truck drivers to drive faster than they should, it often causes them to skip breaks and rest stops to save time. They may skip meals as well or rely on coffee and energy drinks to stay alert. This creates a dangerous mix of fatigue, hunger, and irritability that can lead to fatal accidents.
Are There Laws to Prevent Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents?
Several regulations in place prevent fatigue-related truck accidents from occurring. However, they are not perfect. These regulations are laid out in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service.
Truck drivers may not drive for over 11 hours in a 14-hour window. Even if they take rest stops during this 14-hour window, they must stop driving once 14 hours have passed.
Rest stops are required. Drivers must not drive over eight consecutive hours without taking a 30-minute break. However, some truck drivers are exempt from this 30-minute break requirement, such as those that operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting location and are released from work within 12 hours, according to the FMCSA.
Also, truck drivers must not drive over 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.
As you can see, although these regulations exist, they don’t prevent truck drivers from getting fatigued while driving. Eight hours of driving is a lot. Besides, there have been instances of truck drivers falsifying their record logs. This might be done to keep up with the pressure placed on them to deliver goods on time or, sometimes, maybe discreetly encouraged by an employer.
Why Tired Truck Drivers Are So Dangerous
One reason getting into an accident with a large truck is so dangerous is because of the heavier weight and size advantage that trucks have. According to an IIHS report, occupants of smaller vehicles made up 96 percent of fatalities in two-vehicle accidents involving passenger vehicles and large trucks. Truck drivers made up only four percent of fatalities. Also, 11 percent of all motor accident deaths occurred in large truck crashes.
Common Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
If you were the victim of a truck collision, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered. Several injuries are common in truck accidents, ranging from minor to severe. For motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, more severe injuries are common.
You might suffer whiplash, which is a neck injury caused when your neck and head are forced forward due to an impact. If you are thrown against your windshield or are ejected from your car, you may experience a traumatic brain injury, which can lead to headaches, nausea, and memory problems. Even if your airbag is activated, you may experience chest injury and pain.
You may have broken ribs and bones. Back and spine injuries, and burns, can also occur. Road rash is very common, especially if you were on a motorcycle or bicycle. Road rash, especially on the palms of your hands, can cause a lot of pain.
Besides physical injuries, there are often psychological injuries such as trauma and lost wages due to an inability to work.
In Texas, compensation can include medical costs, lost earning capabilities, mental anguish, and even punitive damages.
Why You Need to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Without Delay
If you were involved in an accident with a large truck, don’t delay in calling a personal injury attorney. Evidence, including photographs of the crash scene and physical injuries, must be taken. Truck companies will often send a legal response team to help their drivers to evade responsibility. They might reconstruct the accident and attempt to shift the blame on you. Insurance companies may try to avoid giving you the compensation you deserve, and investigating officers may not be thorough with their investigations.
Call at truck accident attorney at Baumgartner Law Firm, and we will send our legal team to help you out. We will investigate the circumstances of the accident, including compliance with driving regulations, truck maintenance records, and even the truck’s black box. Try to take photos documenting the evidence yourself right away and call us before you make any statement to your insurance company.
Call Us to Get the Compensation You Deserve
It’s essential to get an attorney who specializes in personal injuries resulting from truck accidents. We have a reputation as a leading truck lawyer in America and the results to prove it. Call us at (281) 587-1111 to get a free consultation with a top-rated truck accident attorney.