You may have seen news before regarding crashes involving large commercial
vehicles. They are often associated with individuals sustaining serious
injuries or even causing fatalities as a result. What isn’t often
known by people watching the news is the exact cause of the collision.
While there are a number of causes, one of the main potential causes is
driver fatigue. Did you know, though, that there are various regulations
set forth that should prevent fatigued driving from causing collisions?
It is when these regulations are violated that it becomes a potential issue.
How does fatigued driving happen? Here are a few problems that could lead
to a crash involving fatigue.
Violation of Hours of Service Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking
industry, setting forth regulations that companies and their employers
must follow. One set of regulations is referred to as the Hours of Service
rules which limit how long a truck driver can operate the vehicle before
taking a rest period. These regulations also determine how long the rest
period must be and how many total hours a truck driver can work in 7 or
8 consecutive days. Failure to abide by these rules can result in a fatigued
driver, which can lead to a serious crash.
Falsified Driver Logs
Truck drivers are supposed to make sure they log their hours of operation
to show that they are abiding by the Hours of Service regulations. Unfortunately,
they are not always honest on these and they falsify the amount of time
they have been driving. Usually, in the case of a trucking crash, driver
logs may be a part of the evidence that can be used to prove
negligence. If this data is false or incorrect, it could hamper the way the case
is handled. It can also help the driver avoid punishment for the violations
he or she has performed with regard to number of hours worked.
Pressure of Deadlines
Fatigued driving is not always the fault of the driver in this industry. Remember, these
large trucks are used to transport goods and products all across the country.
Oftentimes, these deliveries are accompanied by a specified deadline regarding
when the receiving party can expect the shipment. Because these deadlines
are often very tight, the trucking company owner may force and encourage
the driver to violate the Hours of Service regulations in order to meet
the tight deadline. They may threaten the driver that he or she would
lose their job if they don’t comply.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication
Truck drivers work long hours, often sitting in the same position the entire
time. This can cause some pain and strains. Or perhaps the driver has
come down with a cold. The driver may rely on prescription pain medication
or over-the-counter medicine to help them complete their task. Unfortunately,
some of the medication it takes to help cure these ailments often cause
fatigue and drowsiness. This can lead to a serious crash if the driver
does start to become drowsy while driving.
Austin Truck Accident Lawyer
Driving fatigue is not only a violation of the trucking industry regulations,
it is very dangerous for any other drivers on the road. If you or someone
you love was hurt in a crash involving one of these large commercial trucks, our
Austin truck accident attorney at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC can help you. We put our experience to work
for you, analyzing every detail of your potential case to determine the
strategy that would work best in seeking compensation.
Call us today to learn if you have a case.