Truck drivers are essential to our economy and our way of life. Without truck drivers, we would not have the comforts, conveniences, and necessities that we rely on to make our world go ‘round. But as essential as truck drivers are, large truck operation can be dangerous. While there are dozens of things that increase the risk of truck accidents, one of the most concerning is truck driver fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 13 percent of commercial drivers involved in truck accidents were found to have been fatigued at the time of crash. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, you deserve to be compensated. Call our law firm today for help with your claim.
The Dangers of Fatigued Driving
Driving a large truck—or any vehicle for that matter—while fatigued is incredibly dangerous. Drowsy driving impairs a driver’s response time to hazards, increases the risk of actually falling asleep at the wheel, and makes it difficult to concentrate. Some studies have found that fatigued driving is just as dangerous as impaired driving.
Federal Regulations Intended to Stop Fatigued Driving
Truck drivers may be fatigued when operating their rigs as a result of not getting enough sleep, being pressured to make long routes without breaks, and failing to adhere to federal Hours of Service regulations. Hours of Service regulations are designed to make sure that drivers get enough sleep and rest and that truck driver fatigue is minimized. These regulations hold that property-carrying truck drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours per day after 10 consecutive hours off duty, may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming off duty, and must take a 30-minute driving break when they have driven for eight cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute break interruption.
Liability for a Commercial Trucking Accident
When a commercial trucking accident happens, determining liability for the accident is of the utmost importance. If the accident was caused by the fault of a fatigued driver, the trucking company could be held liable for the accident under the theory of vicarious liability, which holds that employers are responsible for the actions of their employees that occur in the course of the employees’ work. Commercial trucking companies maintain robust insurance policies. A liability insurance policy should cover property damage and bodily injury resulting from the accident.
Legal Actions to Take When Involved in a Truck Accident
If you’re involved in a truck accident, you should make sure that you report the accident to the police, report the accident to your insurance provider, gather as much evidence as you can while at the scene of the accident, and then seek medical care. From there, it’s important to call a Massachusetts truck accident attorney who can focus on investigating your case, proving fault and liability, and calculating your damages. At the office of Tetzel Law, our truck accident lawyer has the experience and reputation you’re looking for. To learn more, call our law firm directly by phone at (617) 742-1700 or reach out to us online to request your free consultation.