You're cruising down the highway, radio tuned to your favorite station, when a massive 18-wheeler looms in your rearview mirror. We trust that these truck drivers are alert and capable, but what if they're not? Driver fatigue among truck operators is an increasingly concerning issue that poses a serious risk to road safety. The good news is that knowing the risks and regulations can prepare you for the worst-case scenario, and if an accident does occur, legal expertise can make all the difference. At the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan, we want to help you avoid trouble. Read below for information that can help you stay safe.
Drowsy driving is responsible for tens of thousands of motor vehicle crashes every year, often resulting in severe injuries and tragic deaths. For truck drivers specifically, fatigue plays a role in a large number of truck crashes. The stakes are high, making it crucial for both drivers and regulators to act responsibly.
There are guidelines and laws aimed at combating truck driver fatigue. These include stipulations about breaks, daily driving hours, and required rest periods. However, these laws can sometimes be difficult to enforce, leading to instances where drowsy truck drivers can slip through the regulatory cracks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates Hours of Service regulations, which limit the maximum working hours for truck drivers. For example, drivers are allowed a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel after 10 consecutive hours off duty. These regulations are designed to minimize fatigue-related incidents but are only effective if followed rigorously.
Fatigue hampers cognitive functions, such as reaction time and decision-making abilities. When you factor in the size and weight of a commercial truck, even a small error can result in a catastrophic accident. Simple maneuvers like changing lanes or making sudden stops become significantly more dangerous when a truck driver is fatigued.
Several factors contribute to truck driver fatigue. These include:
Beyond the immediate physical harm, accidents involving fatigued truck drivers often result in extensive legal ramifications, property damage, and emotional trauma. Moreover, it can put the trucking companies themselves under scrutiny, potentially leading to suspensions or loss of license.
In the case of an accident, multiple parties could be held responsible. This might include the truck driver, the trucking company, or even the vehicle manufacturer if mechanical failure played a part. A personal injury attorney can help you take appropriate legal action.
If you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, here are some immediate steps to consider:
The issue of truck driver fatigue is a real-world problem that can turn a routine drive into a life-altering event. But you don’t have to deal with the aftermath alone. With the right information and legal assistance, you can better protect yourself and your loved ones. Call the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntyan today. We're committed to offering professional legal advice that cuts through the noise, helping you make informed decisions when you need it most. Contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.