Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
There are many different ways that drivers can cause problems on the road. Driving while drunk or intoxicated and driving while distracted are two of the more common concerns. However, one that does not get as much attention is driving while fatigued. A driver who is constantly nodding off is a danger to themselves and other drivers. The lapses in consciousness could easily lead to disastrous consequences. Those consequences are far greater if the sleepy driver is behind the wheel of a truck.
The damage that a truck could cause to a smaller vehicle is catastrophic. Serious injuries or even death to the driver and passengers is a serious possibility. That is why you need to contact truck accident attorney Kent Spence if you have been in an accident caused by a distracted truck driver. He has over thirty years of experience handling truck accident cases and he will use that experience to fight for you. He will do all that he can to make sure that you get the compensation that you need to take care of any medical expenses, repair bills, lost wages, and other expenses in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue.
What Are The Dangers of Driving a Truck While Fatigued?
An overly drowsy driver is almost the same as a drunk driver because, in both cases, the driver’s judgment and reaction time are seriously impaired. That means they may not be able to react in time to the conditions on the road, and if they do react, then they might do so in a way that creates more problems. Additionally, a fatigued driver who drifts in and out of consciousness may not even be aware of what is going on around them, so they may not be able to react at all.
All of those scenarios can result in accidents that have dire consequences. A drowsy truck driver may not react in time to road signs or traffic lights and their vehicle may end up colliding with others. Every other vehicle on the road would end up coming off second best in such a situation. The drowsy driver may also veer out of their lane and into oncoming traffic. No matter how an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver happens, it could cause a lot of serious problems for everyone else on the road.
Collisions are the main concern as a truck crashing into other, smaller vehicles could lead to those vehicles being completely destroyed and their occupants getting severely injured or even dying. If the content of the truck’s cargo spills during the accident, then that could cause traffic delays, which could have further knock-on effects such as people being unable to get to work which could lead to an overall dip in job productivity. Needless to say, the consequences of drowsy truck driving only go from bad to worse.
Why Do Truck Drivers Get Fatigued?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a rule that limits truck drivers to eleven hours of continuous driving. Ten hour rest periods between shifts are also mandatory, as is the rule that drivers must not drive more than sixty hours in a week or seventy hours in eight days. These rules may seem reasonable but that is still a lot of driving without rest so a driver can still get tired. Furthermore, it is not always easy to enforce those rules. Some truck drivers will attempt to stave off fatigue using substances like caffeine or amphetamines but those just create different problems.
Overall, driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. According to the FMCSA, 13% of truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue. And according to the CDC, up to 6000 deaths a year are caused by drowsy driving, and one of the groups most at risk of driving drowsy is commercial truck drivers.
How Do You Prove That Driver Fatigue Caused a Truck Accident?
Driver fatigue can be difficult to prove because there are no obvious biological indicators such as blood alcohol content (BAC) in drunk drivers. Also, a driver may have been drowsy when they caused an accident, but the shock of the accident could make them seem wide awake and alert, so their behavior after the accident may not be an obvious sign either. There are still ways of determining if a driver was fatigued when they caused an accident. If they were driving erratically but their BAC is low, then that may be a sign that they were driving drowsy.
However, more definitive proof is typically needed to prove that a driver was fatigued, which is why an experienced truck accident attorney can be so invaluable. They can find more conclusive proof in the truck’s in-cab monitoring system or the driver’s logbook. These can show how many hours the driver was consecutively on the road, which can help to prove if they were fatigued at the time of the accident. There are other methods truck accident attorneys can use to find out how long a driver was on the road including the following:
- Paper or electronic toll receipts
- Surveillance camera footage
- Fuel receipts
- Bills of lading
Contact Kent Spence If You Were In An Accident Caused By Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is not an easy thing to prove but Kent Spence has the experience needed to do so. He can prove that a truck accident was caused by a drowsy driver and hold the driver and the trucking company accountable. Drowsy driving is bad no matter who does it but is far worse when a truck driver does it.
It is reckless and irresponsible and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. That is why anyone involved in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver should contact Kent Spence to get the help they need. He can help you to get the compensation you need for medical and repair bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other accident-related expenses.