Commercial trucks must follow federal regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA creates and enforces all rules related to truck drivers that have a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) license.
Unfortunately, truck drivers and trucking companies are interested in making a profit, and the faster shipments reach their destination, the more profitable trucking companies and truck drivers become. In many cases, truck drivers intentionally fail to follow the guidelines required under the law for rest, which can result in severe fatigue leading to catastrophic accidents.
Hours of Service Regulations
Statistics show that truck driver fatigue results in 1,200 deaths and 78,000 injuries in the United States every year. Shockingly, this accounts for almost 40% of all accidents. The Hours of Service Regulations were established to specifically address the rest and sleep of truck drivers in an attempt to avoid accidents related to truck driver fatigue. Truck drivers must follow these guidelines:
- 11-hour driving limit following ten consecutive hours of off-duty time
- 60 hours of work in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours of work in 8 consecutive days
- 34+ straight hours off-duty before the next stretch of the following driving period may start
Fatigue and Trucking Accidents
In nearly one-fifth of all trucking accidents, a truck driver admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. Night shifts, hectic schedules, and the pressure to deliver goods all contribute to truck driver fatigue.
Fatigue can affect a driver so much that if a driver has 24 hours of sleep deprivation, it is the same as if someone had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit. Fatigue limits a truck driver’s ability to react quickly, have quality judgment, have sharp vision, and have quick reflexes and coordination.
Proving Truck Driver Fatigue
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, our experienced trucking accident lawyers will be able to show if truck driver fatigue was the cause of your accident. You must contact our attorneys immediately following your trucking accident so that we can issue a spoliation letter to obtain critical evidence to prove your case.
For example, the “black box” of a commercial truck should have a record of specific information such as when the car was stopped when it was driven, GPS records, the speed of the truck, and more. Additionally, our experienced attorneys will also need to obtain the daily logbooks of the truck driver and trucking company to see the hours that the truck driver operated the vehicle and when they rested. All of this vital information is essential to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
No Fee Until We Win Your Case
Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only collect a fee for our services if we win your case. If you were involved in a trucking accident case, contact our experienced trucking accident attorneys immediately so that we can ensure the preservation of evidence needed to build a strong case on your behalf. Visit with our experienced legal team today in Florida at (850) 706-4533 or in Alabama at (251) 225-8676 or online for your free consultation.