Truck Driver Fatigue: A Leading Cause of Accidents

Trucks keep the economy alive by bringing goods from producers to store shelves for consumers to buy. And this makes trucking companies fight tooth and nail for a larger market share. In order to get more deliveries done, they give their drivers increasingly unrealistic delivery deadlines. And, as a South Fulton truck accident lawyer knows, leads to a dangerous situation on the roads: truck driver fatigue.

The fact is that any of the trucks you encounter on the road could have a sleep deprived driver behind the wheel. You and every other car driver and their passengers around the truck could be in danger of severe injury in a truck crash.

The Problem: Truck Drivers Would Do Anything to Keep Their Jobs

Despite the fact that they clamor a lack of skilled truck drivers, trucking companies put extreme pressure on their drivers. And they are ready to terminate them over any small thing, including delays in delivering orders.

For this reason, many truckers, either of their own will or at the instruction of their employer, overlook federal regulations on hours of service. Instead of taking the mandatory break after 11 consecutive hours of driving, they keep going. And they resort to everything – including controlled substances – to stay awake and continue driving.

Many Truck Drivers Resort to Various Stimulants

Medical studies show that psychoactive drug use is rampant among truck drivers. The most common drugs truck users take to enhance performance are amphetamines and cocaine. However, while they may appear to give the user an energy boost, they actually reduce driving performance.

The study mentioned above indicates that these drugs actually impair driving skills, putting the truck drivers in danger of causing an accident with catastrophic consequences both for themselves and for many other drivers and passengers around them.

Truck Driver Fatigue Is One of the Main Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes

Drowsy driving is never a good idea. However, looking at the number of accident victims who need a South Fulton truck accident lawyer to help them win their claims, when a drowsy driver is in control of a 80,000-pound 18 wheeler, it can prove fatal.

Various statistical data indicate that truck driver fatigue is in the top five of the most frequent causes of truck crashes, together with speeding, driving under the influence, texting and driving and reckless driving.

sleep deprivation is a major issue among truck drivers

How to Prove Driving Fatigue in a Truck Accident Claim

Knowing that the driver appeared sleep deprived and proving it are two different matters. This is why you should always consult with an attorney and let them investigate the crash and collect all relevant evidence.

Lawyers often rely on the following to prove truck driver fatigue:

1. The Police Report

Police officers are experienced in noting signs of impaired driving. They do not only respond to accident notifications, but regularly participate in DUI checkpoints. They will quickly spot signs of sleep deprivation, such as:

  • Slow reactions
  • Lack of movement coordination
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred speech

They will note these findings in their accident report, which is one of the essential pieces of evidence in a truck crash claim.

2. Trucker’s Log Book

Truck drivers must carry a log book which records their hours of service. At the present, most log books are electronic. They are difficult to tamper with, compared with older models which were printed on paper.

The log book records the number of consecutive hours behind the wheel, when the trucker took breaks and for how long. An attorney can easily prove that the driver has exceeded the limit of hours of service and was technically fatigued.

3. Eyewitness Testimonies

Eyewitnesses can help a lawyer prove a fatigued driver. For example, if all the statements indicate that the truck driver made no maneuver to avoid the collision, it can be inferred that they were drowsy or even asleep behind the wheel.

Let a South Fulton Truck Accident Lawyer Help You Win Damages!

Truck accidents often happen because truckers are forced to work beyond the legal and safe number of hours. In this situation, an experienced South Fulton truck accident lawyer can prove the trucking company’s vicarious liability and hold them liable to pay your damages.

We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible after your accident and schedule a free case evaluation at 678-825-6004!

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