Accidents Cause by Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers are on the road for an extended period of time, requiring a massive amount of attention and energy. This can wear truckers down over time, creating fatigue and exhaustion. Truck drivers who suffer from fatigue can be the cause of horrific accidents. Once the truck driver doses off or is less aware of their surroundings when tired, this puts them in a precarious situation. If you were in a car accident due to truck driver fatigue and need to prove you’re not at fault for your damages, a reliable truck accident attorney can help. They can use the evidence they discover when investigating your truck driver fatigue claim. Contact Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. for a free consultation.
What Is Truck Driver Fatigue?
When truck drivers lose focus because they cannot stay awake, this is fatigue. They may have blurry eyes, an inability to focus, slow responses to stimuli around them, and may even dose off at the wheel for seconds at a time. Even excessive yawning can be a distraction for fatigued truck drivers who have to close their eyes for a moment to finish yawning. If you notice signs of fatigue, such as blurry eyes, slowed or slurred speech patterns, and swaying, you can let your attorney know. The police who arrive on the scene after a trucking accident may also notice these patterns and note them in the police report.
How Do Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents Occur?
Truck driver fatigue can happen for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it is due to personal neglect and easily avoided mistakes that the truck driver does.
Skipping Required Breaks
The FMCSA has strict requirements that prevent truck drivers from operating a vehicle without taking regularly scheduled breaks. Truck drivers must list when they take breaks in their logbooks. When they skip breaks, this prevents them from getting the well-needed rest that is required for their line of work.
Often, medication is necessary for certain conditions, but if it causes drowsiness, it should be avoided at all costs when maneuvering a truck. Truck drivers may take medication that instructs them to avoid operating a vehicle for a few hours. If they ignore these instructions, this can result in disastrous consequences.
Working Late Shifts
In general, nighttime driving often results in more frequent accidents because many individuals are tired after work. Truck drivers frequently work unusual shifts, and because this can upset their sleep schedule, it can be difficult for them to stay awake while driving.
Getting sick is often unavoidable; however, it is the truck driver’s responsibility to take time off from work when they are under the weather. Illness can cause fatigue, drowsiness, and exhaustion as the body fights off pathogens. The body requires plenty of sleep while the immune system gets rid of the illness.
Although truck drivers are regularly tested, they sometimes give into drug and alcohol abuse. When truck drivers are under the influence of a copious amount of drugs or alcohol, this also can cause drowsiness and fatigue. Substance abuse also can impair cognition and make it difficult for truck drivers to pay attention to the road.
What Should I Do After My Accident Was Caused By A Fatigued Truck Driver?
In addition to the photographic evidence you provide regarding your truck accident, you can also collect contact information from any witnesses. Other eye-witnesses may have noticed that the truck driver was exhibiting odd behavior or showing how exhausted they were through yawning and poor balance. The police officer may have noted that they noticed the truck driver was also exhausted. Your attorney can also dig up additional information about the truck driver’s behavior. For example, they can pull up the employee history of the truck driver to see if they broke any FMCSA laws in the past regarding required breaks. They can also review the trucker’s driving record to see if any past incidents occurred due to similar reasons.
What Can I Expect As Damages After My Truck Driver Fatigue Accident?
After being treated by a doctor, you can include your medical bills in your damages. You can also mention the pain and suffering you experienced to your attorney so that they can calculate your losses with the help of an insurance adjuster. If you missed time from work, the amount you should have been paid had you been able to work will also be added to your settlement total. To determine exactly how much you should receive in damages, have a supportive truck accident attorney calculate how much you are owed. Call Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. for a free consultation.