Have You Been Injured Due to Truck Driver Fatigue?

    Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

    Have You Been Injured Due to Truck Driver Fatigue

    Truckers in Georgia operate vehicles that have the potential to cause serious harm if collisions occur. Unfortunately, truck driver fatigue is a common cause of wrecks.

    Suffering injuries due to truck driver fatigue can be a devastating experience that affects your health, finances, ability to work, and more. The good news is that you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

    Truck Driver Fatigue Statistics

    According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), approximately 13 percent of truck drivers are fatigued when crashes occur. Other alarming statistics to be aware of include:

    • Approximately 65 percent of truck drivers report experiencing drowsiness or fatigue while driving.
    • Nearly 50 percent of truck drivers admit they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.

    Attempting to operate any vehicle while tired is extremely dangerous. This is especially true when it comes to large commercial trucks. Reports from truckers also indicate truck driver fatigue may be more common than many realize.

    Truck Driver Fatigue Laws

    Federal regulations prohibit truckers from operating commercial motor vehicles without getting enough rest. Truckers cannot drive a commercial motor vehicle when they are too tired or sick to do so without endangering anyone. Drivers may use their discretion when deciding if they need to stop to get rest. The law also prohibits trucking companies and other motor carriers from allowing truckers to drive when they appear too fatigued.

    Additionally, drivers must take breaks after driving for certain lengths of time. For example, a trucker can have a maximum of eight cumulative hours of driving time before they’re required to take a 30-minute break.

    Even with these regulations in place, crash data indicate truckers continue to operate their vehicles while fatigued. They may do so for a variety of reasons. Some truckers report feeling pressure from their employers to stick to strict delivery schedules. They may drive while fatigued to make up for lost time.

    Signs of Truck Driver Fatigue

    Watching for possible signs of trucker fatigue when driving near large trucks can reduce your chances of being hurt in a wreck. Warning signs to be on the lookout for include:

    • Unpredictable braking or acceleration
    • Stopping for too long at stop signs, red lights, yield signs, etc.
    • Difficulty remaining within their lane
    • Nearly striking other vehicles, driving off the road, etc.
    • Yawning (if the driver is visible)
    • Slow reactions to changes in driving conditions, roadway changes, etc.
    • Tailgating

    Do your best to keep your distance from a truck if you notice any of these warning signs. If you think a trucker may cause a wreck, call 911 to alert law enforcement. You should also call the phone number on the rear of the vehicle to report the driver to their employer.

    Understanding the Dangers of Trucker Fatigue

    Have You Been Injured Due to Truck Driver FatigueMany don’t realize how dangerous drowsy driving can be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lack of proper sleep affects a person much the way alcohol does. In other words, driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as drunk driving.

    In Georgia, a commercial truck driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 percent or more is guilty of drunk driving. Being awake for 17 hours affects someone similarly to having a BAC of 0.05 percent. Being awake for 24 hours is similar to having a BAC of 0.10 percent.

    Lack of sleep negatively affects focus and cognition. Even if a driver doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel, they may still struggle to operate a vehicle safely. In addition, reports from some drivers who’ve been involved in accidents after falling asleep at the wheel indicate fatigue is hard to detect. Truckers may not realize how sleep-deprived they are when driving.

    Contact a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer

    Have you been hurt in a crash resulting from truck driver fatigue? If so, you may now be facing costly medical bills, lost wages, and more.

    You can seek compensation for these losses. Doing so will involve:

    • Gathering evidence to show a fatigued trucker caused the crash
    • Documenting your losses
    • Calculating how much compensation you may deserve
    • Filing a claim with the trucking company’s insurer
    • Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
    • Filing a lawsuit to seek damages in court if the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement

    Accidents involving commercial trucks can be highly complex and involve understanding federal regulations. There may also be multiple parties at fault. When you trust Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., a Georgia truck accident lawyer will help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Learn more about your legal options by contacting us online or calling us today at (770) 205-8827 for a free case review.

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