When most drivers think about the reasons behind major 18 wheeler accidents, they may consider factors such as speeding, intoxication, or poor weather conditions. However, a recent government report showed that as much as 40 percent of all accidents involving tractor trailers are categorized as “fatigued driver accidents”. A fatigued driver accident occurs when a truck driver has been driving for so long that the driver’s body and mind cannot respond to their surroundings in time to avoid a collision.
Driver fatigue can be as dangerous as intoxication. Here’s how and why. When driver fatigue causes truck wrecks, victims can count on the Amaro Law Firm for help seeking justice.
Regulations Fail to Prevent Fatigued Driver Accidents
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has established several regulations to prevent fatigued driver accidents. These regulations include:
Limiting drivers to 11 consecutive hours on the road
Limiting drivers to 14 hours of work in a 24-hour period
Requiring that drivers take a ten-hour break between driving shifts
Restarting the work week after drivers take at least 2.5 consecutive days off.
However, some drivers and trucking companies either fail to comply with these rules, or alter their records to show that they are in compliance. These failures to comply with safety regulations often lead to fatigued driver accidents.
Reasons for Fatigued Driver Accidents
Drivers and trucking companies are under increased pressure to meet deadlines to deliver their goods. This pressure can contribute to fatigued driver accidents, as drivers clock more hours at higher speeds to reach their destinations on time. Some of the reasons behind fatigued driver accidents include:
Drivers need more hours to make more money, so they drive for longer periods without rest.
Companies keep tighter deadlines, forcing drivers to carry heavier loads for longer hours.
Companies either offer bonuses to drivers who drive longer, or threaten the jobs of those who take rest breaks.
Symptoms Can Lead To Fatigued Driver Accidents
Exhaustion, drugs and lack of sleep can cause drivers to suffer from serious physical and mental deterioration. These problems can contribute to fatigued driver accidents that can damage property and cause serious injuries, both to the driver and to other motorists on the road. Some of the symptoms that can lead to fatigued driver accidents include:
Diminished mental focus
Short-term memory lapses
Slower reaction time
Drifting into other traffic lanes
… and much more.
Awards from Fatigued Driver Accident Injury Lawsuits
Motorists involved in fatigued driver accidents with 18 wheelers can be eligible to file lawsuits against the driver and/or the trucking company. Plaintiffs who file fatigued driver accident lawsuits can earn awards for expenses such as:
Mental health care
Lost future income
Future medical expenses
Pain and suffering
… and much more
Know Your Rights in a Fatigued Driver Accident Injury Lawsuit To find out how we can help you with a fatigued driver accident injury lawsuit, contact us today at 877-892-2797. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to an attorney who works on fatigued driver accident injury cases. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.