Truck Driver Fatigue
Representation from Denver Truck Accident Lawyers
Across the United States, large commercial trucks are responsible for 150,000 accidents and more than 5,000 deaths every year. Truck driver fatigue is largely to blame for many of these accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that 20,000 accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue alone. A FMCSA study found that 3 out of 4 truck drivers reported at least one driving error in the last year due to fatigue. If you are in one of these accidents, it’s important to contact a Denver truck accident lawyer for help and legal advice as soon as possible.
At Denver Trial Lawyers, our team of attorneys has recovered more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements. We thoroughly prepare each of our cases to meet the needs of our clients. Call us today at (303) 586-3638 for a free case evaluation!
Why do Truck Drivers Drive Fatigued?
Trucking companies make larger profits when they deliver more goods. As such, they often encourage truck drivers to push past the recommended hours of service. Truck drivers are also only paid for the time they are driving. The longer they drive, the more money they make.
Common Driving Errors due to Fatigue
Sleepy truck drivers are deadly. A fully loaded big rig weighs up to 80,000 lbs. When a fatigued truck driver operates this vehicle – deadly mistakes can occur.
Drowsy truck drivers often make the following mistakes on the road:
- Drive erratically
- Fail to slow down in a turn
- Fail to notice a vehicle as they change lanes
- Drift into oncoming traffic
If a truck driver has been awake for 18 hours, it is the equivalent of driving a big rig with a BAC above the legal limit.
Preventing Truck Driver Fatigue
In order to prevent truck driver fatigue and improve the safety of America’s roads, the FMCSA has imposed specific rules and regulations that truck drivers are supposed to abide by. These regulations are also known as the FMCSA’s Hours-of-Service (HOS).
Common HOS requirements include the following:
- Truck drivers must take a 30 minutes break during the first 8 hours of driving
- Property carrying drivers are only allowed to work a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- Truck drivers may not operate their truck after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 days
- A 34-hour off-duty period is required to restart the workweek
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident in Colorado, it is in your best interests to speak to a knowledgeable Denver truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Truck accident litigation can be extremely complex and you need a law firm on your side that can fight for your rights.
For more information about your case, call (303) 586-3638. Our firm will fight tenaciously for your rights and pursue just compensation on your behalf.