Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyers
On July 1, 2013, the Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents on the road. Research indicates that over eighty-seven percent of all truck accidents are attributable to a driver's error.
In comparison, only thirteen percent of accidents result from a vehicle malfunction or environmental failure.
Out of all crashes involving a truck driver's mistake, a staggering thirteen percent of accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Falling asleep at the wheel has become a significant problem in an industry in which truck drivers feel the pinch of working very long hours.
Unfortunately, truckers are under pressure to drive extra hours due to low wages and a system that puts a premium on productivity over safety.
During periods of high volume for shipments, truck companies may also place extra pressure on truck drivers to complete deliveries quickly. The statistics reveal that driver fatigue is an issue for which society needs to find some resolution.
One of every four commercial truck drivers claims that they have fallen asleep while driving at least once in the prior month, and this is just unacceptable for maintaining safe driving conditions on the road. This behavior puts other drivers and passengers at serious risk for involvement in jackknife accidents and other types of dangerous truck accidents.
Hiring a Chicago Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Injury Attorney
Were you involved in an Illinois truck accident that may have been caused by driver fatigue? If so, get in touch with a commercial trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible. The truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help investigate your case and whether a trucking company has had issues with fatigued drivers in the past.
There are new federal regulations in place to combat driver fatigue, and a personal injury lawyer can use these regulatory rules to your advantage when handling your motor vehicle case. Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) for a free consultation to discuss your compensation claim
Truck Driver Fatigue Accident FAQs
What Causes Fatigue While Driving?
Fatigue, drowsy driving, or sleepiness are all signs that the driver likely has not gotten adequate sleep and have traveled beyond their legal driving limit. However, the trucker might also be fatigued due to medication use, alcohol consumption, sleep apnea, shift work, or untreated sleep disorder.
Truckers and passenger vehicle drivers can be influenced by pre-programming that causes fatigue while driving during their typical sleep time or into a bright sun during the day. For most drivers, the common symptoms associated with fatigue are challenging to identify, especially during long work hours.
What are the Signs of Driver Fatigue?
The common signs and symptoms associated with fatigue include heavy or sore eyes, impatience, yawning, slow reaction time, cramps, impaired driving, neck stiffness, and driving at fluctuating speeds.
What Percentage of Nighttime Commercial Vehicle Accidents are Fatigue-Related?
Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed the truckers are fatigued in about thirteen percent of all accidents. However, fatigue is not always the contributing factor in causing the accident.
Studies by the National Transportation Safety Board have seen a correlation between sleepiness and the risk of injury when involved in a truck crash. The large truck crash causation study showed changes need to be made in the trucking industry involving service regulations, hours of sleep, and the length of time truckers can drive over consecutive hours.
Is Turning the Radio up a Sign of Fatigue?
Many drivers and long-haul truckers heading out on the road are not aware of their level of tiredness or sleepiness until they are well underway. In time, they may notice it is difficult keeping both eyes open and might turn up the radio or rolled on the window as a distraction.
However, drowsiness is a common sign of fatigue that should not go unnoticed. Tiredness can happen at any time of the day or night, no matter the number of hours the trucker has been driving.
Is Blurred Vision a Sign of Fatigue?
Blurry vision is often a sign of fatigue, especially if the driver has a refractive error, including astigmatism or long- short-sightedness. Any condition of the eye might not be as noticeable during the middle of the day when there is adequate sunshine.
However, when the eyes are tired during nighttime hours, twilight, and dawn, vision can become instantly blurry. Drivers with blurry vision should safely pull off the road and rest until their full vision is restored.
What Happens if a CDL Driver Gets in an Accident?
After the crash, the trucking company insurance carrier and local law enforcement will determine who was at fault for causing the accident. If the truck driver is found to be entirely or partially responsible, the police will likely issue a ticket or citation.
The truck driver will have to undergo alcohol and drug testing to see the test reveals any unauthorized or illegal alcohol (0.08% BAC or higher) or drug use when the crash occurred. If no drugs or alcohol were found in the trucker's system, he or she would likely keep their job.
By federal law, the investigators must review the trucker's hours of service (HOS), time asleep, break times, and other information to identify any regulation violations.
Federal Regulations to Combat Truck Driver Fatigue
On July 1, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put forth new regulations to improve safety on the road. The regulatory controls are designed to cut down on driver fatigue, and trucking companies have already been given eighteen months to implement these new changes.
Truck drivers may now only work a maximum of seventy hours a week, which is a decrease from the previous limit of eighty-two hours per week.
Also, truck drivers must take a thirty-four-hour rest break after they have been driving for seventy hours over seven days. The rest break also requires that truck drivers get rest during the periods in which the body lacks sleep. These hours are from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. for most truck drivers.
Lastly, the new federal regulations mandate that truck drivers must take a thirty-minute break within an eight-hour shift period. These break periods are intended to help drivers regain their strength, focus, and energy for safe driving on the road.
Penalties for Failure to Abide by Federal Regulations Related to Mandatory Rest
When a company fails to abide by these new regulations, there can be severe penalties. The FMCSA has stated that it will impose maximum penalties on the drivers and businesses that fail to abide by these new rules.
Drivers who violate the regulations for more than three hours could face harsh fines of $2,750 for each offense. Also, trucking companies can potentially face harsh fines of $11,000 for each offense.
Those who are interested in learning more about the penalties can read through the "Hours of Service Logbook Examples" handbook that is available through the website of the FMCSA.
Truck drivers face harsh penalties from an accident caused by driver fatigue. The driver and trucking company can be held financially accountable. Those who have been injured in serious truck accidents involving driver fatigue might have suffered from injuries that have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
These individuals might find that the only way in which they can afford their medical expenses is by filing a lawsuit against the truck driver and trucking company responsible for causing the accident. Typically, compensation is provided by the trucking company and trucker's insurance companies.
Contact a Chicago Truck Collision Lawyer for Help Today With Your Accident Case
If you have been involved in a truck accident involving a fatigued driver, we can help with your case. Our truck accident lawyers are ready to assist you in whatever way they can.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents accident victims exclusively. Our experience litigating challenging Illinois trucking collision cases has resolved hundreds of trucking accident cases for maximum value throughout the State of Illinois and throughout the Midwest.
Contact us at 888-424-5757 to discuss you or your loved one's significant life-changing decision to get the financial compensation you deserve. Your discussions with our attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
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