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The Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue Despite Regulations

 

Semi-trucks are gigantic vehicles that require a certain level of special care and attention when driving them. Truckers that are too tired behind the wheel may be prone to making more mistakes, drifting into another lane, or doing something else that causes a crash. A trucker may even fall asleep completely behind the wheel and then run themselves and others off the road. Because of the sheer size of the semi-truck, which can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, it is usually the other vehicle that sustains the most damage and bodily injury to those inside. 

There are millions of truckers driving across the roadways of America, and while they are making their journey, they have to abide by trucking standards. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for establishing trucking regulations so that truckers are not putting their safety and others at risk. An example of regulations a trucker must follow is only driving a set amount of hours per day and per week, while also allowing for sufficient rest breaks and meals in between. 

Unfortunately, despite these regulations, truckers may speed or skip out on much-needed sleep because of the pressures of the job. But at the end of the day, it is still the trucker who decided to violate regulations that put the health and well-being of the general public at risk. All it takes is a few seconds driving next to a large semi truck to realize just how much damage it can cause if it collides with another vehicle, object, or building. Injuries that are common for truck accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Crushed extremities
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Disability
  • Mental anguish

Victims of truck accidents due to trucker fatigue may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of wages, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, property damage, and other damages they have faced. To prevent truckers from driving while fatigued, the federal and state government have enforced rules that oversee how much rest is necessitated before a driver can go back to driving. Such rules are referred to as hours-of-service regulations. In addition to breaking these rules, the trucker may use drugs or alcohol, medications to help them sleep (which can cause added drowsiness when awake), or stimulants in order to reach unreasonable delivery time schedules. Depending on the factors of the accident, it may be more than just the trucker who is considered an at-fault party. As our truck accident lawyer friends from Presser Law, P.A. have uncovered as well, added parties that may be listed in the victim’s personal injury lawsuit include the trucking company, other driver, maintenance crew, or part manufacturer.

 

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