Drivers who do not get adequate sleep may operate a vehicle while too tired, making it unsafe and putting everyone on the road at risk. However, this risk is even higher in the trucking industry. Truck drivers often feel pressure to meet their tight deadlines, which causes them to stay on the road longer than they should without resting. As a result, this can lead to truck drivers falling asleep while driving, which can result in devastating collisions. Drowsiness can slow their reactions even if a driver manages to stay awake. Due to the size and weight of big rigs, these accidents are incredibly hazardous. If you have been injured in a truck accident due to driver fatigue, please continue reading and contact a competent Birmingham Truck Accident Lawyer who can help you fight to obtain the just compensation you deserve.
How long are truck drivers allowed to operate a commercial vehicle on the road?
Due to the increased risk of driver fatigue in the trucking industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes strict hours of service rules that dictate how long a truck driver can legally operate a commercial vehicle on the road. Truckers are not permitted to be on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours in 24 hours and cannot drive for more than 11 hours daily. Federal and state trucking regulations are aimed at combating truck driver fatigue. However, despite the severe consequences of violating governmental trucking regulations, many truck drivers disregard them, resulting in catastrophic accidents.
How does truck driver fatigue impact liability for accidents?
If the cause of the collision was truck driver fatigue, you may be able to hold both the driver and the trucking company accountable for any damages you’ve endured as a direct result of their negligence. If the trucking company pressured the driver to break their house of service rules, required them to meet unreasonable deadlines, or ignored the driver’s falsification of logbooks, they could be held responsible.
Generally, to collect compensation for the losses you’ve endured, you must prove that the truck driver was negligent. You must show that they failed to exercise reasonable care when operating a commercial vehicle on the road, resulting in your injuries. In cases where truck drivers or trucking companies violate governmental trucking regulations, you can use the negligence per se doctrine to prove their liability for the collision.
Instead of proving that the truck driver or trucking company failed to act reasonably, you will demonstrate that they violated a law or regulation specifically designed to protect drivers on the road. Ultimately, the negligence per se doctrine makes the liable party negligent because they violated a statute. Therefore, proving they violated a trucking violation such as hours or service can provide a solid basis for a negligence claim.
Proving that a trucking regulation occurred can be a difficult task. However, to maximize your chances of recovering monetary compensation for your losses, contact an experienced lawyer from Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC. Our firm is prepared to assist you in holding responsible parties accountable for their negligence.