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Who Is At Fault for Accidents Involving Drowsy Truck Drivers?

Posted on in Truck Accidents

IL accident lawyerAlmost everyone has had the experience of feeling drowsy while driving, especially given our busy lifestyles and tendencies to stay up late or forgo the sleep we need to stay fully rested. While drowsy driving may seem fairly innocent, it can have very serious consequences. This is especially true for drivers of commercial semi-trucks, who can easily lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident if they start to drift off to sleep even for a few seconds. If you have been injured in a truck accident, drowsy driving may have been a contributing factor, and you could be entitled to compensation from multiple liable parties.

What Causes Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving, otherwise known as driver fatigue, can happen for many different reasons. Lack of sleep is one of the most common, including in cases in which the driver generally does not get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each day, as well as cases in which the driver is on the road late into the night. Drowsiness is also a common side effect of many medications, and it can start to take hold when a driver has consumed alcohol or certain other drugs.

Among commercial truck drivers, however, one of the most prevalent causes of drowsy driving is the pressure to work long hours, most of them behind the wheel, in order to meet delivery schedules. In order to curb this problem, there are federal regulations in place that limit a driver’s hours of service.

FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations

Hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers are maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to the current regulations, drivers are generally limited to 11 hours of driving within a 24 period, and they must spend 10 hours off duty after 14 hours on duty. They also must take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours without interruption. To ensure compliance with these regulations, drivers and their employers must keep detailed logs of driving hours and on-duty hours.

If you are injured in a truck accident, it may be difficult to demonstrate with certainty that the driver’s drowsiness caused the accident. However, the hours of service regulations provide a more tangible way for you to demonstrate liability. An attorney can help you obtain evidence like driver logs and trucking company records. If there is evidence that the driver or their employer failed to comply with hours-of-service or record-keeping requirements, both parties may be liable for your injuries.

Contact a Waukegan Truck Accident Lawyer

Injuries in truck accidents tend to be severe, and getting the evidence you need to support your personal injury claim can be complicated. At Salvi & Maher, LLC, we can help you navigate the process of pursuing a claim and fight on your behalf to achieve a fair resolution. For a free initial consultation with a Lake County personal injury attorney, call us today at 847-662-3303.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations

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