When driving overtired, truck drivers are running the risk of falling asleep while behind the wheel. In addition, a truck driver’s reflexes may be too slow to react to potential hazards on the road. Their judgment could also be potentially impaired, causing them to pass a car when it is not safe or take a turn too fast. Fatigue could also impact a truck driver’s vision. Once they have been driving for more than six or seven hours, there may be a serious strain on the eyes, causing the driver to not see as well.
If you suffered injuries due to the impaired faculties of a fatigued truck driver in Sugar land, be sure to schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the details of your accident. By speaking with a truck accident lawyer in Sugar Land, you could find out whether you are eligible for compensation and what you could do to prove negligence on part of the trucking company or the driver.
Laws in Place to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue in Sugar Land
There are several laws in place aimed to prevent truck driver fatigue. For example, truck drivers are only allowed to drive 60 hours within a seven-day period. Truck drivers are also required to rest for 34 hours straight before driving again. This regulated schedule does not abide by the normal Sunday-Monday week, it is a floating seven days. Lastly, drivers are only allowed to drive 11 hours continuously and are supposed to stop for a full inspection of their tired, mirrors, and reflectors every four hours.
Leading Cause of Truck Driver Fatigue
The leading cause of driver fatigue that results in truck accidents includes overworked drivers and drivers that are taking on shifts for another driver. Most trucking companies are not going to allow their drivers to drive more hours than what is safe or legally allowed. However, if someone is fired, that could cause other drivers to take on more shifts than what they are normally used to.
Truck driver fatigue is very common in the food delivery industry. If a truck arrives late, the company’s fee may be discounted. If a truck driver is six hours late delivering food to a store, they may only get paid for a certain percentage of what they would have if they were on time, causing drivers to drive for unlawfully longer periods.
Impact of Assignation of Liability
Truck driver fatigue could play a significant role in the assignation of liability. If a truck driver collides with another driver, and it is found that they were driving more hours than what they are legally allowed, it could prove to be easy for the plaintiff to prove negligence on part of the tired truck driver. In scenarios where it is unclear if one specific party has fault, truck driver fatigue may be the difference-maker in proving liability.
Truck Driver Negligence vs Truck Company Negligence
If a trucking company is found to be responsible for an accident, the type of responsibility placed upon the hired driver could depend on whether they claim the driver to be an independent contractor. If they are independent, the plaintiff may be required to file a claim against the driver and have their insurance company get involved. However, if the driver is part of the company, the company would likely be held responsible for their negligence or fault.
If a truck driver was acting outside the scope of their employment, whether it was running a personal errand or on the way home, the trucking company could say that the driver was not acting as an employee at the time of the accident, meaning that the plaintiff would have to recover damages from the driver.
Get in Touch with an Attorney for Help
Driver fatigue plays a significant factor in several trucking-related accidents. Victims who have suffered injuries as a result of an overworked driver are known to incur significant damages due to the slow response time of the tired driver and their impaired decision-making abilities. Fortunately, the law makes it possible for victims to work with an attorney for help with holding the at-fault party liable. For driver fatigue cases, it could prove difficult to determine who is at fault, but with an attorney at your side, you could rest assured that your attorney will do everything possible to get you a favorable result.
For more information, or for help with bringing forth a claim, be sure to schedule a consultation with a Sugar Land truck accident attorney today at Amaro Law Firm.