Driver Fatigue causes Truck Accident

Helping Victims of Serious Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue


Driver Fatigue is one of the main causes of truck accidents.  Truck drivers tend to work long, monotonous hours.  Therefore, it comes as no shock that fatigue and drowsiness can set in.


Understanding the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

  • The NHTSA estimates that truck driver fatigue contributes to 40% of all heavy truck crashes.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board found that fatigue was a contributing factor in 52% of 107 heavy truck crashes. In 18% of these crashes, the driver admitted to falling asleep at the wheel.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that the likelihood of a crash doubles from the eighth hour to the tenth hour of driving. The likelihood of an accident doubles again from the tenth to the eleventh hour
  • Per FMCSA, over 750 humans die and over 20,000 are injured every year due to fatigued truck drivers.


Factors That Influence Truck Driver Fatigue

Time of Day
 Truckers who drive at nighttime are at a larger risk.  In fact, research has proven that fatigue-related accidents are more probable to take place between the hours of midnight to 6 a.m.  Many truckers opt to travel at night because there are fewer cars.  Yet, the lack of sleep can result in fatigue-related accidents. 
Hours Awake

Drivers who have been awake for 18 or extra hours exhibit impairment in cognitive ability.  In fact, being awake for over 18 hours is akin to having a BAC degree of 0.08%. This is past the legal limit for driving.

Sleep Disorders

By some estimates, 80% of sleep issues go undiagnosed.  Untreated sleep problems, like sleep apnea, increase the probability of a fatigue-related accident.

Rotating Shift Schedules

Because of the nature of the industry, truck drivers usually do not have set schedules. Unfortunately, rotating schedules increase fatigue.  This is due to the fact that there is not enough time to relax and rest between shifts.


How Fatigue Impacts Driving

Sleep deficiency has many destructive influences on a driver’s cognitive abilities, including:
  • Slowed response time and reflexes
  • Impaired balance
  • Increased distractibility
  • Impaired judgment (not as hazard averse)
  • Increased chance of falling asleep
  • Impaired creativity
  • Increased hazard of computerized behavior
  • Impaired memory 


Federal Regulations Help Prevent Driver Fatigue

The FMCSA regulates the range of hours a truck driver can be at the back of the wheel.  These are aimed at stopping worn-out drivers from being on the road.  As of 2013, new hours-of-service guidelines have been implemented in place.

The hours-of-service-rules encompass these provisions:

  • The common workweek for a truck driver may additionally no longer exceed 70 hours
  • Once a driver has reached the limit, he or she can also no longer drive for 34 consecutive hours
  • Truck drivers ought to take a 30-minute wreck inside the first eight hours of a shift.
How Electronic Logging Devices Can Prevent Truck Accidents
 Current rules require truck drivers to hold paper logs to document the variety of hours they are on the road.  Unfortunately, paper logs are tough for regulators to screen and verify.  In many ways, it is nothing extra than an honor device that trusts truck drivers and trucking businesses to record their hours accurately.  However, nameless surveys have proven drivers typically post falsified paper logs.

Electronic logging units (ELDs) are a way of recording the real instances that a truck is on the road besides having to count on the truck driver or trucking corporation to put up correct riding logs. Linked to the truck’s engine management module,  ELDs robotically document the date, time, and place of the truck. ELDs also keep those statistics alongside identification numbers of the truck and the driver.  Additionally, ELDs hve an alert machine that warns the driver when they are drawing near the hours-of-service limit.

Studies Show ELDs Prevent Truck Accidents

Some foremost U.S. freight carriers have been the use of ELDs for years.  The FMCSA estimates requiring ELDs will end result in roughly 1,500 fewer truck accidents yearly.


Proving an Accident Was Caused through Driver Drowsiness

It is crucial that your attorney takes the time to have a look at the driver’s log to determine the causes of the accident.  Your lawyer should ask questions about the driver’s quantity of sleep before the accident occurring.

Should your attorney decide that fatigue was an element of the accident, the next step would be to look into the driver’s working conditions.  For example, did the trucking organization have training that set out a standard for the driver?  If not, the trucking agency is likely responsible for the accident.  Paid per mile or by the load, drivers may be financially incentivized to push their limits. In these cases, the trucking business enterprise may push drivers to work too long.

Truck drivers and companies may also be to blame for hours-of-service violations that caused accidents.  Proving these violations can be challenging.  However, it’s possible to discover violations we investigate truck driver logbooks, onboard GPS, mobile phone data, receipts, and stamped pick-up and drop-off times.  Comparing driver logbooks with a truck’s GPS will exhibit whether or not the logbook is accurate. We will review the driver’s receipts.  Determining if the driver stopped to get gas or food shows whether the driver violated federal hours-of-service regulations.


What Should I Do If I Was Injured In An Accident With A Tired Truck Driver?

You may also be entitled to monetary compensation from the trucking agency and the driver for the accident.  After searching for clinical care, call an attorney as quickly as possible.

The trucking business enterprise will launch an investigation into the accident.  The insurance plan corporations will attempt to decide what happened. Make positive you have anyone who will put your pastimes first in the combat for the compensation you want to supply for yourself and your family.


If a Tired Truck Driver Caused Your Accident

If you have been in a collision with a business truck, contact the Law Offices of Julie M. Essa, LLC today.  Determining fault in a truck accident is complicated.   An expert legal professional can behavior an investigation into the accident.   In that case, the driver and/or trucking organization ought to be held liable.

Call Law Offices of Julie M. Essa, LLC at 770-955-8322 or En Espanol 770-771-3658 if you have been hurt in an collision involving a truck.  We can help you get the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.