How Truck Driver Fatigue Causes Accidents
It is not uncommon to see 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks on the roads in San Antonio. These vehicles, and the drivers who operate them, often travel long journeys, spending many hours at a time on the road. Spending eight or more hours on the road at one time can cause a great deal of fatigue and that poses a threat to other motorists in the vicinity. Below, our San Antonio fatigued truck driver accident lawyer outlines the risks faced, as well as how to prove this violation of the law caused your crash.
Understanding Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is similar to other types of driver fatigue. It occurs when a trucker has not had enough sleep, or they have been on the road for too long. Spending multiple hours on the road can contribute to truck driver fatigue because it is very monotonous. A fatigued truck driver has slowed reaction times and an impaired ability to think clearly. In the worst of cases, a truck driver may even fall asleep while they are behind the wheel and lose control of their large vehicle.
The Law Tries to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue
In an attempt to limit the number of fatigued truck drivers on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted the hours of service rule. The law states that truck drivers may not be on the road longer than 11 hours after they have taken a ten hour break. After eight hours of being on the road, truckers must take a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes.
When truck drivers are on the road for several days at a time, they are not permitted to drive more than 60/70 hours when they are on the job for 7/8 consecutive days. The 7/8 consecutive day period restarts once the truck driver has had 34 or more consecutive hours of rest. When necessary, truck drivers can also take longer breaks.
How to Prove Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal duty to comply with the law. There is also a record-keeping law that states drivers and companies must record the number of hours spent on the road. Historically, drivers had to manually log the time, which posed a problem since the time could be fraudulently reported or a driver may have forget about time spent behind the wheel.
Today, fortunately, trucks must be equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs). These devices electronically log the time so no mistakes are made. If you believe truck driver fatigue contributed to your accident that resulted in injury, it is critical to speak to a lawyer who can obtain the ELDs and prove your case.
Our Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Collect the Evidence You Need
Proving truck driver fatigue is possible, but that does not mean it is easy. At the Law Office of Israel Garcia, our San Antonio fatigued truck driver accident lawyer can collect the necessary evidence to prove liability so you obtain the maximum settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 210-LAW-9999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our clients never pay us a penny unless and until we win their case.