Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents
An exhausted driver is an unsafe driver, and when an exhausted driver is behind the wheel of a large commercial truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds, it is a recipe for disaster. Truck drivers are typically expected to adhere to tight, demanding schedules to deliver cargo in the least possible amount of time. Under this kind of pressure, many truck drivers yield to the temptation to push themselves to continue driving without stopping to rest, sometimes even in violation of government regulations intended to stop this dangerous practice. If you or a loved one are the victim of a truck accident caused by driver fatigue, contact an experienced Pittsburgh, PA truck accident lawyers for a free legal consultation.
According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 18 percent of truck accidents involve fatigued drivers.
A driver who is overly tired may fall asleep at the wheel, drift out of the proper lane, run the truck’s wheels off the side of the pavement, or miss dangerous conditions on the road. Fatigue may lead a truck driver to be inattentive, misjudge space, or fail to respond appropriately to various situations encountered on the road.
Federal Regulations Regarding Driving Hours
In order to prevent the dangers of truck driver fatigue, the federal government has instituted regulations designed to prevent the fatigue that comes with excessive hours of driving without rest.
Drivers are limited to working 14 hours per day and driving 11 hours a day. Furthermore, they must not have driven in the 10 hour period immediately preceding a driving shift, may not drive after working 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period, and may only resume driving after 34 hours off-duty. A driver must also take a half-hour break within the first eight hours of a driving shift.
A driver is required by federal law to keep accurate records of on and off time in a log. When logs have “gone missing” or appear to be inaccurate, and an accident has occurred, the driver’s activities can often be reconstructed by using trip tickets of bills of lading on which pickup and delivery times are stamped.
Additional information on the truck driver’s activities can be obtained from the truck’s “black box” or data recorder. This underscores the importance of having a fully experienced truck accident attorney working for you if you’ve fallen victim to a fatigued trucker’s driving error and have suffered serious injuries. Your lawyer will need to ensure after the accident that whoever has possession of the truck following the accident doesn’t alter the condition of the truck by repairing it or removing or retrieving data from the black box unless all parties are present.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, you need to hire a personal injury attorney immediately who will obtain the data recording and logs, and other records, with a court order if necessary. Violation of federal “hours of service” regulations will go a long way in proving the driver liable for your injuries.
Protect Your Right to Recover Damages with the Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys at Chaffin Luhana
If you’ve suffered serious injuries or lost a family member in a truck accident involving driver negligence, contact the nationwide personal injury law firm of Chaffin Luhana, LLP, as soon after the accident as possible to protect your right to recover damages for losses to your finances and quality of life. Fortunately, federal regulations mandate that commercial trucks carry large insurance policies, because the injuries they cause are so often catastrophic, frequently requiring a lifetime of care.
But trucking companies have mitigation teams who leap into action to protect the company’s interest at the first word of an injury accident. You will need a skilled team of attorneys working to protect your interests and your right to adequate and fair compensation for both economic damages, such as medical costs, lost earnings, etc., and non-economic damages, such as pain, disability, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and others.
At Chaffin Luhana, we offer a free review of your truck-related accident to determine if you have a viable case. If you choose to hire us to represent you, our highly experienced legal team will launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the accident and will take all necessary steps to preserve the trucker’s logs and black box data. We have traffic safety experts and accident reconstructionists on call to assist us in the analysis of the data and support your case with expert testimony in depositions or at trial.
Don’t delay; the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can go to work for you. Call us today. The consultation is free, and there is never a risk to you, because we accept accident cases on contingency. If we don’t obtain compensation for you, an extremely rare occurrence, you don’t pay us anything.