Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyers
Every day, thousands of trucks travel Illinois roads. Driving large trucks takes proper training, and truck drivers must follow strict rules for the safety of all drivers and passengers on the road. Accidents involving large trucks happen all too often, and truck driver fatigue is a common cause.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident which was caused by truck driver fatigue or a driver who exceeded over-hours limitations, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Lawyers who are experienced handling truck driver fatigue accidents are available to help you pursue your case legally. Our qualified team of lawyers possess an impressive track record of helping our clients gain the compensation they deserve.
What Causes Truck Driver Fatigue?
Truck drivers work long hours to move cargo from Point A to Point B, traveling across the state of Illinois and beyond. Working long hours takes a toll on the body, and truck drivers are no exception. Driver fatigue can result from a variety of factors, including:
- Sleeping fewer hours in order to drive longer
- Constant exhaustion from lack of sleep and long working hours
- A crash as coffee, energy drinks, or other stimulants lose effect
- Reduced awareness as drivers approach the last hours of their shift
Federal Hours of Service Regulations
When truck drivers become fatigued, the consequences can be fatal. In an effort to prevent truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set strict regulations dictating the amount of time a driver can be on the road, known as hours of service, which impose over-hours limitations. These regulations dictate rest breaks, the amount of time which can be driven in certain time periods, and more.
Unfortunately, hours of service regulations are not always followed. Drivers may exceed over-hours limitations or fail to take rest breaks in order to make their deliveries and pick-ups on time. In the trucking industry, job security and payments are tied to a trucker’s ability to move cargo quickly, which can compel drivers to ignore hours of service regulations.
Even truckers who comply with hours of service regulations and do not exceed over-hours limitations are vulnerable to driver fatigue. Taking mandated rest breaks does not mean a driver’s breaks are actually restful. Many drivers do not get adequate, quality sleep, which can lead to driver fatigue.
The trucking company a driver works for may be encouraging him or her to exceed over-hours limitations in order to make better time. The company may prompt drivers to falsify their records, it may not review driving logs, and it may not discipline drivers who violate over-hours limits. Most drivers are paid by the number of miles they travel, and ignoring over-hours limitations to do more driving means there is more money to be made.
Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue can lead to dangerous driving behaviors, resulting in devastating truck accidents. Lack of sleep has been shown to produce similar levels of impairment as those associated with alcohol and drug use. Reaction time and judgment are negatively impacted when a driver suffers from fatigue, increasing the probability of making a detrimental error on the road.
Driver fatigue can also cause drivers to speed in order to make up for lost time, which can lead to severe accidents. Drivers may be careless in securing loads as they hurry to make deliveries, which can cause trailers to become imbalanced.
Truck driver fatigue accidents can inflict very serious injuries and even death. If you have been injured, do not hesitate to contact the truck accident lawyers at GWC Injury Lawyers. We will investigate your case and hold the negligent driver at fault.