Truck Driver Fatigue

Tired Truck Driver Accidents in Austin

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All truck drivers are governed by rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These rules include guidelines for how much sleep a truck driver must have based on the number of hours they have been on the road. When these guidelines are ignored, tired drivers can get behind the wheel, which puts everyone else on the road at risk.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a tired truck driver, you should have your case reviewed by an Austin truck accident lawyer who can help you understand your rights and legal options. At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, we have extensive experience handling all types of truck accident cases. Let us put this experience to work for you!

Contact us today to have an Austin personal injury lawyer review your case for free.

Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused By Driver Fatigue?

Truck driver fatigue claims are often complex because of the fact that there can be multiple parties who can share in the liability. While it is the truck driver's responsibility to ensure that he or she gets enough sleep, some investigations show that the driver was pushed into extra hours of service by his or her employer in order to meet a tight deadline.

When handling these kinds of cases, we do the following:

  • Look for prior violations by the driver and/or their employer
  • Review the driver’s log books to look for hours of service violations
  • Examine information from GPS units or black box recorders

At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our team knows how to investigate cases involving truck driver fatigue and how to build a strong personal injury case designed to secure the best possible outcome for you. If you or someone you love was hit by a drowsy driver, please do not hesitate to discuss your options with an Austin truck accident attorney at our firm.

Truck Drivers Must Abide By Federal Regulations

In the U.S., all truck drivers must abide by the hours of service regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. According to the FMCSA, truck drivers cannot work more than 11 hours without taking a 10-hour break in between shifts. Similarly, drivers cannot work more than 14 hours a day, with only 11 hours being spent on the road.

Over a seven-day period, truck drivers cannot work more than 60 hours. Over an eight-day period, they cannot work more than 70 hours. They are also required to keep a log book for every 24-hour period of service. Trucking companies must ensure that their drivers are maintaining their log books, and are prohibited from overworking their drivers.

Falsified Driver Logs

Truck drivers are required to log their hours of operation to show that they are abiding by the hours of service regulations. Unfortunately, drivers are not always honest and may falsify these logs. 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 committed.

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. Because these deadlines are often very tight, the trucking company may force or encourage the driver to violate regulations in order to meet the 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 can cause fatigue and drowsiness. This can lead to a serious crash if the driver starts to become drowsy while driving.

Contact The Stewart Law Firm for a Free Consultation

Driving fatigue is not only a violation of the trucking industry regulations, but 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 attorneys 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.

If your truck accident was caused by a tired driver, you have rights. Call (512) 271-5112 for help.