What Is the Role of Truck Driver Fatigue in a Big Truck Accident?

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A fatigued truck driver behind the wheel of his truck.

Most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving. However, many disregard the risks that fatigued driving poses in auto accidents. A sleepy driver exhibits sluggish performance, impaired judgment, and delayed reaction times. According to studies, someone awake for 20 hours is just as impaired as someone whose blood alcohol level is 0.08, the legal limit in all 50 states. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 20% of drivers acknowledge that they have dozed off behind the wheel recently. When driving for work, 40% admit that this has happened at least once. These people included many truck drivers. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates 5,000 people died in collisions involving fatigued driving. These statistics highlight how common it is to drive while fatigued and how dangerous it may be.

Big Truck Accident Law Firm

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed due to the negligence of a truck driver in North Carolina, contact the big truck accident law firm, Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ to receive your free, no-obligation legal consultation and see what we can do to help you today. You should never be forced to pay for the negligence of another driver. Here at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters, ‘ we fight for the rights of truck accident injury victims and their families to seek just compensation for their accident-related injuries. Call (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation with an experienced fuel truck lawyer today.

Awareness of the Part Fatigue Plays in a Truck Accident Injury Claim

There is a great deal of strain on truck drivers. Their capacity to provide items promptly and on schedule determines their ability to thrive. The amount of time truckers can spend driving without resting is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

  • Over the course of 14 hours, they can drive for an 11-hour stretch.
  • They can drive for a total of 60 hours over the course of seven days.
  • They can drive for 70 hours over eight days without breaching any rules.

Many truckers travel longer than is legally permitted because of strict delivery timetables, even though they are weary. To keep attentive, some drivers turn to over-the-counter stimulants, prescription medications, and in a few rare cases, illegal substances. While stimulants cover up the signs of exhaustion, the body and brain are still not getting the rest they require. As a result, a driver is faced with exhaustion that has been building up for hours when stimulants start to wear off. The presence of stimulants in the trucker’s system or their driving record may be used as proof that drowsiness contributed to the accident when addressing a truck accident claim. However, insurance companies might fight back by arguing that the passenger vehicle’s driver was negligent.

Why Driving While Tired May Be Considered Negligence

There are many factors that may contribute to truck driver fatigue. A truck driver may argue that pressure from their company or a tight delivery deadline caused them to drive while fatigued. However, the truck driver knows when they need to rest and when they are exhausted. In a truck accident injury claim involving exhaustion, it is frequently found that the driver disregarded the warning signs and symptoms of exhaustion and kept driving.

When a motorist acts negligently, a truck accident injury lawyer will investigate some factors that led the driver to drive while fatigued. These may be a few of the causes:

  • Fear of not getting paid
  • Being required by their employer to deliver shipments by a strict date
  • Undetected cases of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea
  • Using drugs that make you drowsy
  • Driving after drinking alcohol
  • Scheduling delivery routes without enough places to stop and rest

Truck accidents can happen when a truck driver or the organization they work for is careless or negligent. The truck accident victim deserves a truck accident injury attorney who will fight for them and assist them in obtaining the settlement they are due for their accident.

What Makes Truck Driver Fatigue Such a Hazard?

Anyone who is sleepy behind the wheel puts other motorists in danger. However, the risk is significantly higher when truck drivers are involved due to the significant differences between heavy trucks and cars. The weight of a heavy vehicle ranges from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. Typically, passenger cars weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds. In addition, the length of a passenger car ranges from 12 to 18 feet. Large trucks, meanwhile, can vary in length from 45 to 65 feet. Due to the extreme size differences between these vehicles, persons filing a truck accident claim may have much more severe injuries.

Large trucks are unable to avoid obstructions swiftly. A passenger car has a 25-foot turning radius. Up to 50 feet are needed for a big truck. It is doubtful that a driver who briefly nods off and then wakes up can swerve and avoid any objects in their path. Additionally, large vehicles require extra stopping room to avoid collisions. For example, a driver needs more than 520 feet to stop the truck if they momentarily sleep off while driving at 65 mph and then wake up to notice an obstruction in front of them.

When working with investigators to determine what caused an accident, a truck accident injury lawyer will search for proof that the driver’s reaction time was slowed down by sleepiness or drowsiness. Then they will try to ascertain if the conditions leading to the truck accident injury claim were caused by the driver, the driver’s employer, or a combination of both.

What To Do if You or a Loved One Is Hurt in a Trucking Accident?

Being hurt in a truck accident brought on by a tired driver might alter your entire life. You might need to stay in the hospital for a while due to your injuries. The recovery phase will follow, during which you might be unable to work or take care of your family or domestic duties. In addition, the collision may have caused total vehicle damage and wounded those riding in the car with you. However, these circumstances do not require you to handle it alone.

Big Truck Accident Attorney

Unfortunately, when involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the trucking companies often have legal teams prepared to attempt to diminish the value of any claim and minimize any payouts they may be liable for. After a truck accident, you need a big truck accident attorney to fight back against high-powered insurance and/or trucking company attorneys.

At Tatum & Atkinsons, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ we have a proven track record of winning high-value settlements and verdicts for our clients. We work vigorously to develop an optimal legal strategy and build the most robust case possible to win your case. We assist our clients with obtaining and assembling compelling evidence to back up their claims. Finally, we provide our clients with peace of mind that can be had when retaining an experienced trucking accident lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights to fair compensation. Obtaining a big truck accident attorney allows you to focus on what matters most and spend your energy and time on recovering.

Big Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured by a commercial truck, do not hesitate to contact an experienced big truck accident lawyer at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online to schedule your case evaluation today. An experienced big truck accident lawyer will represent you in negotiations with the insurance company, explain your legal rights, respond to your inquiries, and seek the best possible outcome for your case. In addition, at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ you owe us nothing unless we win.