Wadesboro Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer

Truck Driver Asleep At Wheel

Semi-trucks are extremely heavy and difficult to control. When truck drivers don’t get enough rest, they have an even harder time staying safe. Other drivers often pay for truck drivers’ negligent actions, as people in smaller vehicles often sustain catastrophic injuries in a collision with a truck.

The Wadesboro personal injury attorneys at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, are dedicated to upholding the rights of people hurt in truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers. Our Wadesboro truck driver fatigue accident lawyers have more than 40 years of legal experience and have a proven track record of success.

Get in touch today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

How Dangerous Is It to Drive a Truck While Tired?

Driving while fatigued is one of the most dangerous things a truck driver can do, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Slower reaction times – Truck drivers need to be extra alert because trucks take so long to slow down and stop. Fatigue makes it harder for truck drivers to react to hazardous situations, whether those situations result from their actions or someone else’s.
  • Impaired judgment – Fatigue makes it harder for us to think clearly and respond appropriately, especially in stressful situations. That is a big problem for truck drivers because they need to maintain control of their trucks to avoid causing an accident.
  • Falling asleep at the wheel – Trucks are more than 10 times heavier than passenger cars, which means they can cause severe injuries even in crashes that happen at low speeds. If a truck driver nods off while driving, even if it’s only for a few seconds, the truck could drift into another lane or into oncoming traffic and cause a severe crash.

Drowsy Driving Statistics in Wadesboro

Recent data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation shows close to 15,000 accidents involving large trucks in just one recent year. While state officials do not have records on how many of these crashes were caused by fatigue, a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that fatigue is a factor in about 13 percent of all truck crashes nationwide. Using the FMCSA’s figures, that means fatigue played a role in potentially 2,250 truck accidents in North Carolina.

Wadesboro Truck Driver Hours of Service Regulations

The FMCSA has regulations for how long truckers can drive without taking a break. These rules are known as “hours of service” regulations in the trucking industry.

The basic hours of service regulations are:

  • Truckers can work for up to 14 consecutive hours after being completely off-duty for at least 10 straight hours. The 14-hour work window starts as soon as a trucker begins work-related tasks, not when they start driving.
  • During the 14-hour work window, truckers can drive for up to 11 total hours.
  • Truckers must take a break that’s at least 30 minutes long if it’s been eight or more hours since they last took a break at least that long.
  • Truck drivers can work for up to 60 or 70 hours in a given seven-day or eight-day work week, depending on how their work schedule is arranged.

Investigating a Drowsy Driving Truck Accident

Proving a truck driver was fatigued before an accident is a challenge in some cases, as there’s no chemical test for fatigue like there is for intoxication levels. However, an experienced truck accident lawyer can use other evidence to help establish a trucker was exhausted, such as:

  • Eyewitness accounts – You or another driver may have seen the trucker nodding off before the accident happened, which may indicate the trucker was fatigued.
  • Information from a truck’s electronic data recorder – If the truck’s electronic data recorder shows the truck was moving erratically prior to a crash or the driver never braked or steered before impact, that could be an indication of fatigue.
  • The truck driver’s handwritten logs – A truck driver’s logs can be used in a similar manner to see if the driver had spent too much time behind the wheel.
  • Police accident reports – In some cases, a truck driver will admit to a police officer that they were tired before the crash happened.
  • Forensic accident investigations – Trained investigators can look at clues from the scenes of the crash to show a truck driver was behaving erratically and may have been fatigued.

What Causes Wadesboro Truck Driver Fatigue?

Aside from not getting enough sleep, some reasons truck drivers become fatigued include:

  • Spending too much time behind the wheel in violation of hours-of-service rules
  • Alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Sleep disorders

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

The only way to truly prevent drowsy driving is to make sure you get plenty of sleep before a long drive and take plenty of breaks. While drinking caffeinated beverages, driving with the window open, loud music, and other things may seem to alleviate some of the symptoms of fatigue, these are stopgap measures and don’t actually make you less tired.

For everyone’s safety, truckers need to get sufficient rest before driving and stop for a break before they become too tired.

When to Contact a Lawyer After a Fatigued Driver Truck Accident

You need to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a truck accident. Crucial evidence that might help your case could disappear or deteriorate within hours or days after a crash. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more likely you’ll be able to build a strong case and pursue the financial recovery you deserve.

Contact Our Wadesboro Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Lawyers Today

Our Wadesboro fatigued truck driver accident lawyers want to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries after a crash. Contact Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, today for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced North Carolina attorneys.