Chattanooga Truck Accident Lawyers Protect Your Rights after an Accident Caused by Driver Fatigue
Helping you obtain full and fair compensation after a truck crash
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has consistently identified truck driver fatigue as a contributing factor in truck accidents. The NHSTA estimates that 13% of all commercial vehicle crashes are caused by fatigue. In an effort to protect motorists on our streets and highways from the dangers of truck driver fatigue, federal laws specify how many hours each day a truck driver should rest. A law cannot force a driver to sleep; however, the law can build in structure that promotes proper rest by truckers.
When a fatigued trucker injures you or a loved one in an accident, the Chattanooga truck accident attorneys at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law are by your side. The devastation of a serious truck accident can leave you and your family in disarray. We help you collect compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. Contact our firm to learn more.
Why are truckers fatigued?
A few of the reasons truck drivers are exhausted include:
- Spending too much time on the road
- Not eating well or skipping meals
- Getting paid by the mile, which encourages them to drive longer than they feel comfortable with
- Not getting proper rest while in a sleeper berth
- Sporadic schedules with unpredictable loading times
- Being involved in a culture that does not promote proper rest
- Having too many responsibilities
- Not spending enough time at home
- Being exhausted from non-driving responsibilities, such as loading and unloading
Although truck drivers have many responsibilities and are under a lot of pressure, that is no excuse for fatigued driving. A tired driver has reduced reaction times, reduced decision-making abilities, and may end up swerving or even falling asleep at the wheel. These missteps could be potentially deadly to other drivers on the road.
Hours of service regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets time limits on how long truckers can be on the road in one stretch and mandates certain rest breaks. Violations of these hours-of-service rules could result in fines of $1,000 to $11,000 to the trucking company.
There are different rules for property-carrying vehicles, such as delivery trucks, and passenger-carrying vehicles, like buses. For example, property-carrying drivers can drive for a maximum of 11 hours after a 10-hour rest period, but a passenger-carrying driver can only operate a vehicle for 10 hours after an eight-hour rest break.
Within eight hours of coming on duty, all drivers must take a mandatory 30-minute rest. No driver can work more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
There are many rules, and exceptions to those rules. A driver’s logbook and black box data will tell if he or she has been taking the required breaks. That information can be used as evidence if you file a personal injury claim against the driver and the trucking company.
Legal help from Chattanooga attorneys for those harmed in truck driver fatigue accidents
When a trucker puts the lives of others in danger, he or she needs to be held accountable. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we fight for justice for clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all the surrounding counties. Our Chattanooga truck accident lawyers are your guides through the complex area of personal injury law. Let us help you. Start by calling us at 423.799.3532 or filling out a contact form.