About 130,000 people are injured in truck accidents every year in the United States. While there are several contributors to truck accidents, truck driver fatigue is a common cause of collisions. When commercial truck drivers are fatigued from working long hours, they increase the chance of truck accidents.
Federal Laws Designed to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue
Because of unique schedules, truck drivers often suffer from sleep deprivation, disruptive sleep cycles, and extreme fatigue. Federal laws are in place to regulate the number of hours that truck drivers are legally allowed to be behind the wheel of their trucks. These laws are called Hours of Service Regulations and are rules designed to keep our nation’s roadways safe by reducing truck driver fatigue. These regulations provide appropriate hours and times when commercial vehicles may be operated.
Signs of Fatigue in Truck Drivers
There are several signs to look for that may indicate a truck driver is fatigued.
- Yawning or blinking frequently
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Missing exits or making wide turns
- Making sudden lane changes
- Driving slower than the speed limit
- Appearing restless or irritable
- Having trouble keeping their eyes open
If you are a truck driver, it’s important to follow the Hours of Service Regulations. You should also take measures to prevent fatigue by getting enough rest, eating healthy meals, and exercising regularly.
Financial Motivation for Ignoring Exhaustion
Truck driver fatigue is common because many trucking companies pay drivers according to the number of miles driven and how soon drivers arrive at their destinations. In other words, the more miles they drive, the more they are paid. Many drivers will ignore safety regulations in order to be paid more. Unfortunately, truck drivers who decide to ignore regulations and to continue driving for more than 8 hours are more likely to be involved in a truck accident. Sometimes drivers will even falsify driving logs by claiming to drive less hours than actual hours driven.
What Are My Rights If I Was Injured in a Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an accident caused by a truck driver who was fatigued, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The first step is to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. An experienced attorney will investigate the accident, review the evidence, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
How much compensation you can recover will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, and other factors.
Speak to a New Orleans Trucking Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the attorneys at Lambert Zainey today. We have more than 40 years of experience handling truck accident claims. We will investigate your claim, help you get the medical treatment you need, and fight to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (800) 521-1750 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.