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Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents: Increased Safety Threat on the Road

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Personal Injury

Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin car crash lawyer, car crash, injuriesThe U.S. Department of Transportation reports that over 300,000 large trucks were involved in collisions in 2012 with 104,000 people injured as a result. This number of injuries was an 18 percent increase from the previous year. Injuries resulting from a truck driver fatigue accident can range from bruising and aggravated pain to severe injuries such as broken bones, and in certain instances, fatality. Safety on the road is the responsibility of every driver.

Traffic accidents involving commercial trucks typically occur as a result of one of the following:

  • Poor driver performance;
  • Violation of safety regulations;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Vehicle malfunction;
  • Driver fatigue.

One network news station recently broadcasted an expose about sleep-deprived truck drivers being forced to drive despite safety regulations, potentially causing dangerous truck driver fatigue accidents.

One truck driver reported falling into “microsleep,” a state which he described as, “Basically, your eyes are open. Your hands are on the wheel, but your brain shuts off for three to four seconds.”

Drivers and passengers are put at risk when sharing the road with a fatigued truck driver because sleep deprivation can make a driver less attentive, have slower reaction time, and affect a driver’s ability to make decisions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Association has created a guide that instructs truck drivers how long they can continuously be on the road. These windows of time restriction are mandatory. Truck driver fatigue accidents are more likely to happen when these rules are ignored or when logbooks are falsified.

A commercial truck driver on the interstate must abide by one of the following maximum duty limits:

  • 14-hour “driving window” limit
  • 11-hour driving limit
  • 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day limit

Each limit follows specific compliance rules including breaks based on-duty time. A trucker is required to take a 10-hour rest period between jobs as mandated by federal law.

Truck driver fatigue accidents occur unexpectedly and there is no way to plan for the trauma and injuries that follow. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Wisconsin and seek counsel, contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options today.

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