Although there are many causes of trucks accidents,one of the most significant factors associated with trucking accidents is truck driver fatigue. These types of accidents are quite serious and often result in catastrophic injuries or death.
Unrealistic Expectations Upon Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are typically expected to make their deliveries quickly and within specified deadlines. They are often faced with unrealistic expectations from the trucking companies. In some cases, if they fail to deliver their cargo on time, they could lose their pay. Most truck drivers are typically paid by the mile so they try to log an extensive amount of miles per day. More miles are equivalent to more pay. In other situations, truck drivers may continue to drive while fatigued to simply get home to their families.
Truck drivers frequently push themselves by driving while fatigued, working long hours, failing to take proper breaks and making unsafe decisions to drive in less than ideal weather or dangerous road conditions. Not only are they jeopardizing their own lives but also the lives of everyone else with whom they share the road.
Federal Regulations Enacted to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations in place to help prevent truck accident injuries and deaths. The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, was enacted as a means to decrease the incidence of truck drivers operating their vehicles while fatigued. The guidelines delineate the maximum number of consecutive driving and service hours a truck driver can spend on the road before a rest period is needed. The regulations also detail the minimum number of rest hours a driver needs before they embark on their next road trip.
Truck Drivers Maintain Logbooks
Truck drivers are required to maintain logbooks that record their drive times and rest breaks. Unfortunately, some truck drivers falsify their books. Trucking companies have also been known to encourage their drivers to violate the Hours of Service regulations in an effort to complete jobs early or on time. Under these circumstances, both the truck driver and trucking company can be held liable for any injuries that occur during an accident. This is why it is imperative to consult with a skilled truck accident attorney who knows how to handle these complex cases and has the resources to holdmultiple parties accountable.
Warning Signs of Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers may fail to recognize the signs of fatigue or they may deliberately choose to ignore the signs. The most common symptoms of truck driver fatigue include:
- Frequent yawning
- Head nodding
- Tired eyes
- Heavy eyelids
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Inability to recall the last few minutes
- Loss of concentration
- Wandering thoughts
- Delayed reaction times
In an effort to combat the fatigue and stay awake, sleepy truck drivers will often resort to the use of stimulants such as caffeine, ephedrine, cocaine and methamphetamines. The potentially dangerous side effects associated with these drugs include confusion, impaired reaction times, aggression, hallucinations and paranoia. These drugs have the potential to severely impair an individual’s driving ability.
Helping Individuals Injured in Truck Accidents Seek Justice and Compensation
At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP, our experienced Delaware trucking accident lawyers have witnessed firsthand the devastation that truck accidents have on the victims and their families. For this reason, we have chosen to dedicate a key area of our practice to representing these injured victims. We also represent family members in wrongful death lawsuits who have lost a loved one in an accident caused by a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel.
We will perform a thorough in-depth truck accident investigation to determine if driver fatigue or any other driver error was the cause of your accident. We will use our profound understanding of the federal regulations to establish if any violations were committed. We will also obtain all the necessary vital evidence including the truck driver’s logbook, black box recorder and any other relevant documents needed to build a strong trucking accident lawsuit on your behalf. We will seek to hold all negligent parties legally accountable for the resulting injuries and damages. More importantly, we will fight to secure the maximum compensation to which you are entitled to under the law so that you can continue with your recovery.
The Law Offices of Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP: Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers Protecting the Rights of Injured Victims
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the personal injury law firm of Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP as soon as possible. We have offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Call us today at (302)-295-5050, or toll free at (800) 300-0909, to schedule a free consultation with a qualified Delaware trucking accident lawyer or submit an online inquiry.