It's no secret that driving any vehicle when you're fatigued or tired is dangerous. However, the consequences can be catastrophic when you drive a semi-truck fatigued. Trucking companies and their drivers must abide by federal and state regulations to ensure safety for everyone on the road. It might even surprise you that truck drivers are allowed to be on duty for 60 hours in just 7 days in North Carolina. Additionally, a truck driver can drive for 11 straight hours. While it's better than before regulations, it still a lot of time and can cause truck driver fatigue.
Long-haul truck drivers are known to pull long days to meet deadlines and deliver goods and cargo needed. To meet these deadlines and get paid, truck drivers will often drive over their 11-hour limit, which endangers themselves and everyone on the road.
Driving a tractor-trailer requires training, proper licensing, and constant vigilance for ever-changing road conditions. Driving while tired or fatigued reduces response times, can cause the massive truck to swerve, and untimely causes truck accidents and serious injury or death. Truckers who drive tired are putting the lives of hundreds of innocent people at risk. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently stated that 13 percent of commercial vehicle drivers in truck crashes were experiencing truck driver fatigue.
For just a second, think about a semi-truck's sheer size and volume. A commercial truck weighs an average of 10,000 pounds. Think about how much damage that truck can do when it hits a sedan because the truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel. Sadly, this is an all too common reason for car and truck accidents. Truck drivers will work past their 11-hour allotted time, fall asleep, and cause a serious car accident. These truck accidents cause severe injuries and, in the worse cases, death.
In 2013 the trucking industry started new regulations that reduced the drive time from 82 hours a week to 70 (and, in some states, less). They went from 14-hour work days to just 11 and now require truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours. Trucking companies that force drivers to disregard these regulations can be fined $11,000 per offense.
If you or a loved one have been in a truck accident caused by truck driver fatigue, you may be able to get compensation. And at the very least, the trucking company and truck driver should be held accountable to the fullest extent. Our truck accident lawyers are here to investigate your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A., in North Carolina, we have a wealth of experience handling driver fatigue accidents. Our truck driver fatigue lawyers have been helping clients in Raleigh and central North Carolina obtain compensation for truck crash injuries since 1994.
Because of the well-documented dangers of driving while fatigued, numerous federal regulations exist to prevent truck driver fatigue, and drivers are required to:
We are highly experienced in investigating truck accident cases involving truck driver fatigue. Common issues include:
We can obtain onboard computer information, phone records, and log books. We also depose company executives and safety managers to uncover the accidents caused by driver fatigue. Because of our extensive experience in handling truck accident cases, we are often asked to teach legal seminars on trucking regulations and driver fatigue.