Tired drivers are among the most dangerous drivers on the road. Driving while fatigued can have all sorts of negative effects, such as slowing reflexes, narrowing vision, and even causing hallucinations. When a truck driver is drowsy, the dangers are amplified due to the potential large trucks have to cause catastrophic damage.
The dangers posed by fatigue drivers are the reason that federal trucking regulations limit service hours. At BDIW Law, our team of truck accident lawyers can help you recover compensation if a fatigued truck driver injured you. Learn more through a free consultation with a member of our team.
Federal Trucking Regulations Regarding Hours of Service
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes limits on the hours of service for drivers of commercial trucks and other commercial vehicles. These limits exist to prevent fatigued driving and ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
Among these hours of service regulation is the 11-hour driving limit, which sets a maximum of 11 hours that can be driven after 10 consecutive hours off the clock.
Our Team Is Here To Assist You Every Step Of The Way.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY TODAY
Driver Logs and Blackbox
Truck drivers must keep a logbook to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Among other data, this log will reference all the hours the truck is on the road and the driver who was operating the vehicle.
Additionally, most commercial trucks are equipped with a black box. This electronic monitoring device records various data about the operation of the commercial truck. All of the data collected from a driver’s logbook and the black box can be used as evidence in court.
Any violations of the hours of service found in these records can help support an argument that the truck driver was fatigued at the time of the crash.
Trucking Companies Often Hold a Level of Fault for Truck Driver Fatigue
If a truck driver violated their hours of service, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the only ones to blame. Many trucking companies have been found guilty of encouraging drivers to push themselves beyond the safety regulations set forth by the FMCSA.
Trucking companies often offer incentives for getting a shipment to its destination in a timeframe that would be impossible if the driver followed the rules for commercial trucks. Additionally, a driver may be disciplined or even fired if they don’t meet deadlines that are virtually impossible when following the law.
Get A FREE No-Obligation Consultation Today!CONTACT US TODAY
Fatigued Driving Is Comparable to Drunk Driving
Fatigued driving is dangerous. Driving while tired can have many of the same effects on a driver as driving while intoxicated. Studies show that being awake for 20 hours straight can impair one’s reflexes at the same level as someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% (the legal limit in most states.
After being awake for 24 hours straight, that impairment can rise to the level of a person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1%.
You Need An Attorney Who Has The Experience And Skill To Help You.Call (866) 800 9660
Recovering Compensation After a Truck Accident Caused by a Fatigued Truck Driver
Proving that a truck driver was fatigued can be essential when attempting to recover compensation after a crash. Proving driver fatigue on your own can be a challenge. Fortunately, when you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer, they will know exactly what to look for to prove that the drowsiness of the truck driver caused your collision.
They will obtain copies of the driver log and black box information, which they will thoroughly review. Your attorney will also investigate the driver and the trucking company to look for a history of violations of federal and state trucking regulations.
Damages You Can Collect After a Truck Accident Caused by a Fatigued Truck Driver
After suffering a serious injury in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, you will likely be able to recover a wide range of damages from the liable party. The specific damages you can claim will depend on the details of your case. All damages available are divided into three primary categories.
Economic damages are all of the losses you suffered that directly impacted your finances. The economic damages most often claimed in fatigued truck driver accident cases are:
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Decreased earning ability
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
Non-economic damages are all other losses you suffer after an accident. The non-economic damages most often claimed in fatigued truck driver accident cases are:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
Punitive damages are not awarded to replace losses sustained by the accident victim as with the compensatory damages listed in the previous sections. Instead, these damages are used to punish the liable party for the role they played in the accident.
A judge will only award punitive damages in a driver fatigue truck accident case if the actions of the at-fault party reached the level of criminal negligence.
Get a Free Consultation fom an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today
Hiring an experienced lawyer will give you the best chance of recovering the money you need after an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver. At BDIW Law, our team of truck accident attorneys in Oklahoma has a proven track record of securing favorable results for truck accident victims.
We can help you prove that the truck driver was drowsy and that you suffered damages as a result. Reach out to us by giving us a call or completing the contact form on this website. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so don’t hesitate to get started today. A member of our team will review your case and answer all your questions.
The Sooner We Get Involved, The More We Can Do To Help You.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY TODAY