Driving is a physical activity that can lead to fatigue if the driver does not get enough rest. Given that tired drivers cannot pay close attention to the environment around them, they may end up causing an accident or fail to react on time to roadway hazards to prevent one.
Truckers, especially, are more prone to driver fatigue due to their long operating hours and strict deadlines that they have to beat. For this reason, the trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), which sets the maximum hours a driver is allowed to be on the road before taking a break.
The Federal Hours of Service rule
To avoid cases of driver fatigue, truckers and trucking companies have to adhere to the hours of service regulations set by the FMCSA. For instance, truck drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for eight consecutive hours per the regulations.
If a truck driver goes beyond the allowable hours of service and causes an accident because they are fatigued, it is considered negligence. The driver or their trucking company could be held liable.
How can you prove that a truck driver was fatigued?
If you were involved in an accident with a truck driver, it is necessary to ascertain that they were operating within the allowed timelines.
The driver’s logbook and the truck’s black box can be useful in showing violations to the hours of service. In addition, police statements from the accident scene that mention the driver’s physical state at the time of the crash can also be helpful.
Making the best out of your truck accident claim
A trucking accident claim can get complex. Besides driver fatigue, other factors may have contributed to the crash, and there may be multiple liable parties.
Therefore, you need to handle your claim very carefully to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.