Accidents Cause by Truck Driver Fatigue
Getting into an accident with a commercial truck can be a serious, life-altering experience that can come with catastrophic injuries, long-term financial impacts, and more. Of course, an accident with another passenger vehicle can have the same repercussions, but when you are driving or riding in a passenger vehicle and collide with such a large truck, the damages are typically more serious for the people in the smaller vehicle. This is one of the many reasons why commercial drivers are held to such high standards, starting with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), but go further to include many different regulations and restrictions including vehicle size and class, hours of service in any given day or week, type of cargo, and more.
Hurt In a Trucking Accident? Hire a St. Louis Attorney Today
There are a lot of different factors that will need to be examined after a truck accident so we can establish clear fault and negligence. Once we are able to clearly show that the truck driver was at fault for the accident, we will be able to move forward with the rest of your case and fighting for the compensation that you deserve. This first step, though, is extremely important so that we are able to avoid reducing your award through comparative negligence.
Contact our truck accident lawyer at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC today so that we can discuss the specifics of your accident and learn more about how we can work together. If you believe that your accident was the result of truck driver fatigue, there are many different documents that we will be able to look at in order to determine whether or not they violated the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration’s Hours of Service Regulations.
Read more below to learn about how these Hours of Service Regulations play a factor in truck accident cases, and how we can use this information (and more) to determine whether or not the driver may have been fatigued.
How Do Truck Drivers Avoid Fatigue?
The reality of a truck driver’s job is that they may not be able to avoid fatigue, much like someone who works at a desk, on a construction site, or anywhere else shows up to work sometimes overtired and underperforms as a result. However, someone being tired at a desk typically poses a much lower risk to those around them when compared to a truck driver, which is why the FMCSA has strict limitations on the hours that a driver is allowed to operate on.
FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations
Depending on whether a truck driver carries cargo or passengers, there are different regulations that they must adhere to. These regulations pertain to single days as well as weeks and require various rest periods before they are allowed to operate again. Freight drivers typically have a bit more leniency when it comes to the hours that they can operate since they are not responsible for passengers; regardless, though, these regulations are strict and can be understood more here.
If a driver is found in violation of these regulations, they will be subject to penalties and fines, and these violations may play a significant role in our personal injury case.
Other Sources of Fatigue
While it is very helpful for drivers to have strict, federally-mandated guidelines for when they are allowed to drive, there are many other factors that play into whether or not someone is alert and awake enough to drive. If a driver follows the FMCSA regulations to the letter of the law, but are overtired due to personal reasons, they can pose just as much of a threat on the roads. However, this can be more difficult to prove unless they volunteer this information. We will need to work on different angles to build a case proving that fatigue played a role.
Luckily, we have a history of experience with a wide range of truck accident cases in St. Louis, meaning that when you are partnered with Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for your insurance claim process (and any further legal action required), you are in good hands.