Driving while fatigued is dangerous because there is an increased risk of a driver falling asleep behind the wheel. Additionally, exhaustion affects the body in the same way that alcohol does in that it slows down a driver’s response time and impacts their ability to make good decisions.
Truck drivers have the additional responsibility of driving a large vehicle that can cause significant damage and harm if they lose control. Therefore, if a truck driver falls asleep while operating their vehicle, they are putting themselves and others on the road at risk.
If you were involved in a collision with a trucker who fell asleep while driving, you should speak with a Manchester truck driver fatigue accident lawyer. An experienced attorney could review your case and how the negligent driver accountable for their actions.
Regulations that Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue
There are various federal and state laws in place that aim to prevent truck driver fatigue. Federal hours rules of service state that a trucker cannot legally drive more than 11 hours at a time, and if they do, they must stop for a full ten consecutive hours before they are allowed to continue. Truck drivers are also required to take rest breaks of at least eight hours, and breaks should last for at least 30 minutes. It is important to distinguish that these regulations do not generally apply to short-haul trucks.
Additionally, truck drivers may not operate their vehicles after 60 to 70 hours of being on duty for 78 consecutive days. After 78 days, truck drivers may restart this period by taking 34 hours off. Further, there is a 14-hour driving limit in which a trucker may not drive more than 14 consecutive hours after coming off duty following ten hours of on-duty time. If a truck driver violates any of these regulations and gets into a collision because they fell asleep behind the wheel, a Manchester truck driver fatigue accident attorney could help an injured party file a claim.
Leading Causes of Driver Fatigue
One of the leading causes of truck driver fatigue is pressure from their employer to violate service hour laws. They may coerce their employees to get to their next destination, to deliver cargo quickly, or to get their truck back on the road even if the trucker has surpassed the driving hours limit. In these situations, a trucker fatigue accident lawyer in Manchester could hold the trucking company liable for any injuries that result from their reckless behavior toward their employees.
Potentially Liable Parties and Establishing Fault
If a judge finds a trucking company to be responsible, the driver may be liable as well. The trucker may be responsible for their own actions and their decisions while on duty. However, a truck driver may be absolved of some responsibility if they followed all the road safety rules, kept proper attention, and maintained their vehicle in good working order.
To establish that a defendant is liable, a Manchester lawyer with experience in truck driver fatigue accidents may investigate this case by reviewing operation logs. They also may look into the trucker’s driving history to determine if they have had prior issues with fatigue, such as failure to obey service hour limits, sleep apnea, or some other medical condition.
Examples of Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue can lead to many kinds of devastating accidents, especially if the vehicle is traveling down interstate 84 in Manchester. When a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, they may lose control of their vehicle and cause a rollover accident.
A rear-end collision may also occur because a trucker with exhaustion may not be able to break in time before hitting the vehicle in front of them. Running red lights is also common when drivers are fatigued.
Contact a Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney in Manchester
If someone knows they are tired and chooses to get behind the wheel, this may amount to reckless driving, and they could be criminally charged. As a result, if you suffered injuries in a collision with a fatigued trucker, you may be able to hold them accountable for your losses. A Manchester truck driver fatigue accident lawyer could help you file your claim and pursue compensation. To get started, schedule a free case consultation today.