Tired TruckHow Tired Truck Drivers Cause 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.
Truck accident statistics show Texas has more fatal truck wrecks than any other state in the United States.
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. Also, spine injuries are common from big truck crashes.
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. 18-wheeler settlements can be significant with the right attorney. It is vital you hire the best truck accident lawyer for your case.
In Texas, compensation can include medical costs, lost earning capabilities, mental anguish, and even punitive damages.
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Houston Car Accident Claims:From Start To Finish
An Interactive Guide
You hear metal crumpling. Someone just hit your car. Maybe they ran a red light or lost control of their vehicle. Maybe you were rear-ended by a teenage driver on her cellphone.
Either way, you’re angry and frustrated. You have things to do. Places to go. But now, you're standing beside your damaged vehicle waiting for the police to arrive. You start to feel some neck pain.
All that to say: A single, unexpected moment changed everything.
A car accident can strike at any time. Whether you are on your way to work or headed to the store, it doesn’t matter. It’s moments like these that cause the government to require everyone to buy insurance.
A Guide For All Car Accident Victims
In this guide, you will learn:
- How To Handle Yourself When Disaster Strikes
- How To Ensure The At-Fault Insurance Company Covers Any Property Damage And Injury Expenses.
- What Injury Lawyers Do And How They Can Help You.
Get To Safety
Prevent Further Damage & Injury
If you find yourself in the middle of the intersection or on the freeway, you first priority is to move all persons (and vehicles if possible) out of the way of oncoming oncoming traffic.
Survey The Damage
Call The Police + Gather Evidence
After getting to safety, you should immediately dial 911. Make sure to alert the dispatcher if there are any serious injuries.
As you wait for help to arrive, you have 3 goals:
- Identify Extent of Injuries
- Identify Witnesses
- Identify Vehicle Damage
Pro Tip: Use your cell phone to record a statement from the other driver, as well as to store contact information for the other driver and any witnesses.
Should I Take?
Take Photos Of The
Other Driver's License
Damage On Both Vehicles
License Plate Of
Insurance Policy Of Other Driver
Get Medical Help
Your Health Is #1
After emergency help arrives, it is important to seek medical treatment. Even if you don’t feel injured, it is important to get checked out for any internal injuries.
Be sure to go in for any follow-up checkups or procedures.
Pro Tip: If you wait before seeking medical treatment, the at-fault insurance company may argue that your injury wasn’t serious and that you don’t deserve compensation for medical expenses.
- Internal Bleeding
- Broken Ribs
- Punctured Lungs
Whiplash is caused by a sudden forward or backward jerking motion of the head, which can damage the intervertabral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerve roots. Symptoms of whiplash manifest in neck pain, dizziness, sleep disturbances, fatigue, headache, lower back pain and sometimes numbness in the arm or hand.
Internal bleeding is caused by blunt trauma, and varies depending on the forces involved and the individual. It cannot be seen outside of the body, and it may occur within organs, tissues and body cavities including the abdomend, chest, spinal canal and head.
It takes aproximately 4,000 Newtons (measurement of force) to break or crack a rib. The symptoms of a broken rib include pain while breathing, applying pressure to the area, and when you bend or twist your body. Ribs are often broken by the force of the seabelt during deceleration of the vehicle during a crash.
Puncturing a lung can be a serious injury. In a punctured lung, air gathers between the lungs and the chest cavity. The pressure build up makes it impossible for the lung to expand. Symptoms include coughing blood, chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness and headaches.
Hire An Injury Lawyer
Save Time. Get Compensated.
Hiring an injury lawyer after a serious accident is one of the best things you can do. Injury lawyers take care of all communication and negotiation with insurance companies. This frees up your time to focus on recovering.
At our law firm, we offer free initial consultations to all Houston residents. Just fill out our contact form — or give us a call to schedule a convenient time for you. We’ll listen to your story and offer our advice.
Pro Tip: Never accept a settlement without consulting a lawyer, especially if injury is involved. Once you accept a settlement, you can never recover anything further in the future.
Time Is Of The Essence
In most cases, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This is called the Statute of Limitations.
Certain exceptions can extend and/or shorten a limitations period.
If the victim is a minor, the limitations may be extended until they are 18 years old.
If you are in an accident caused by a governmental entity in Texas, the statute of limitations may be much shorter — ranging from a few months to six months.
File Your Claim
Notify Your Insurance Company
It is important to notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
Many insurance companies allow you to file your claim online. Otherwise, call the number listed on your insurance card.
Be sure to keep track of all adjuster names and contact information.
Pro Tip: There may be multiple active insurance policies that can cover you. For example, if the other driver didn’t have insurance, your own Uninsured Motorist coverage could kick in. An experienced attorney can help identify these policies & maximize your recovery.
Find Your Insurance Company
Find Your Insurance Company Contact Info
American Family Auto Insurance
Claim Reporting Number: 1-800-692-6326
Online Claim Portal: Go to site
Learn Fault Factors
How Fault Is Determined
Were you speeding? Nearly one-third of all car accidents can be attributed to speeding.
Was anything obstructing your view? Over half of all states have windshield obstructions laws.
What were the weather conditions? Slippery roads can reduce traction and cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
Who had the right of way? The law gives the right of way to no one, but it does state who must yield (give up) the right of way.
What were the Traffic Conditions? Crashes of all types are at their highest Monday through Friday between the hours of 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Were you distracted? (Radio, Phone) Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving.
Were you wearing a seatbelt? Seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.
Was a citation given out? In most instances, any driver violating traffic law will be held largely responsible for a resulting car accident.
Pro Tip: Do not give any recorded statements until you have the opportunity to consult with legal counsel.
Schedule a Free Strategy Session
Been in an accident? We’re here to help. Fill out the information below to arrange a free consultation
Interactive Car Accidents Form
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 a 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.