Driver fatigue exponentially increases the likelihood of a truck accident. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel and a truck drifts out of its lane, the results could be catastrophic. Even while awake, a fatigued driver’s reaction time is impaired, meaning they may not be able to avoid accidents.
If you have been injured in an accident with a tired truck operator, a Western PA truck driver fatigue accident lawyer could help you recover compensation. Truck drivers and their employers have an obligation to avoid overwork and long hours. Failure to do so could leave them open to personal liability.
Impact of Truck Accidents
The danger of driving while overtired is that it exponentially increases the likelihood of an accident. Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. In a typical year, there are over 300,000 trucking accidents nationwide, and from that, there are injuries to over 20,000 truckers and nearly 1,000 fatalities.
Truck accidents have an economic impact of close to $100 billion on the country as a whole. When someone is not operating at their optimum level of functioning, the risk of a serious truck accident only increases. After someone has been awake for 18 hours, that is the equivalent of a 0.08 blood alcohol content, which is the legal driving limit.
Rules and Regulations Regarding Trucker Fatigue
There are a number of different legal requirements to prevent truck driver fatigue. One federal requirement is that truck drivers only drive 11 hours after having 10 consecutive hours off duty. Through these requirements legislatures and regulatory bodies attempt to leverage some control over drivers’ schedules and keep other motorists safe.
Truck drivers are also required to keep logbooks of their trips, which is something that a lawyer would request in the discovery process of a truck accident case. A careful review of a driver’s logbooks could reveal that they skirted federal law about scheduling, which could, in turn, allow for a favorable civil ruling. Knowing what to look for and knowing what questions to ask are crucial skills that a Western PA truck driver fatigue accident lawyer could bring to a case.
Trucking Company Liability
Just as a truck driver could be found liable for driving while fatigued, a trucking company could also hold liability. If a truck driver’s employer knowing scheduled them to drive an excessive number of hours in a short amount of time, a lawyer could pursue the employer for damages just as they might pursue a driver.
Hiring a Western PA Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney
Driving while overtired is seriously dangerous behavior, and can be as reckless as driving while intoxicated. If you have been injured in an accident involving an overtired truck operator, a Western PA truck driver fatigue accident lawyer could help you collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue compensation for your damages. Contact an attorney today for a consultation and to learn about your legal options.