Fatigued Driving in Truck Accidents
Fatigued Driving Is a Violation of Federal Trucking Laws
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 there were 330,000 commercial truck accidents in the United States; a percentage of those accidents involved a fatigued truck driver, or a trucker who "fell asleep" at the wheel. Unfortunately, truckers have a history of violating the federal hours of service regulations, and pushing the limits of their bodies' sleep-wake cycle to meet the strict deadlines they are under – at the expense of other motorists.
Seek Out Just Compensation with Our Dallas Truck Accident Attorney at Your Side
If you were injured by a fatigued truck driver, our Dallas truck accident lawyers at Lenahan Law Firm stand ready to represent you against the trucking company and their insurance carrier. We take on a limited number of cases, this way we can devote the necessary time, energy, and resources into obtaining maximum compensation for our clients!
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Understanding Driver Fatigue
Fatigue is characterized by a lack of alertness and a reduction in mental and physical performance, most often accompanied by drowsiness.
- The signs and symptoms of fatigue include:
- Slow reaction time
- Quick to anger
- Nodding off
- Lack of alertness
- Impaired decision making skills
- Causes of fatigue:
- Sleep loss
- Disturbed sleep
- Excessive mental or cognitive work
- Being awake continuously
- Quality and quantity of sleep
- Disrupted biological clock
Sleep loss is cumulative and when truckers fail to get adequate rest, it builds a debt. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, going 19 hours without sleep is similar to drunk driving - a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05%, and going 24 hours without sleep is similar to a BAC of .10%.
In an effort to combat truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made changes to the hours of service regulations (HOS), reducing the number of hours that a truck driver can work.
The FMCSA has made it clear that long daily and weekly hours are associated with an increased risk of crashes; therefore, the agency has enforced strict rules to reduce the numbers of fatigued driving crashes.
Contact Lenahan Law Firm today!
At Lenahan Law Firm, we know all about truck accidents and the federal regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies are supposed to adhere to.
Let us use our knowledge to help you, call our firm today to schedule a free initial case evaluation!