Driver fatigue is a serious concern for everyone on the road. Numerous studies have reported that driving tired can often be more dangerous than drunk driving. As sleep deprivation results in impaired cognitive function and mental abilities, tired motorists tend to drive erratically and exhibit delayed reaction times behind the wheel. When a sleep deprived driver is behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound semi-truck or other large vehicle, even the smallest mistakes and accidents can result in devastating consequences.
If it was determined that driver fatigue played a role in your truck accident, or if you need to prove that a trucker was driving negligently, then Stern Law Group will fight aggressively and diligently for you.
By closely analyzing your case and the unique circumstances involved, we can determine whether a tired or overworked truck driver caused your accident and work intelligently toward securing maximum compensation for your personal injury claim.
Federal Trucking Regulations
While driving tired is not illegal, the dangers are clear. This is why the United States government has created explicit regulations and laws governing truckers' driving habits in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of tired driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the government organization responsible for the oversight of the trucking industry. All drivers and companies responsible for commercial motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds must comply with what are known as hours-of-service regulations. These regulations were created with the specific intention of preventing truck drivers from getting behind the wheel when tired or overworked. Some of the most important hours-of-service rules include:
Property-carrying truck drivers may only drive a maximum of 11 hours per day after a mandatory 10 consecutive hours off duty. Passenger-carrying truck drivers may drive a maximum of 10 hours per day after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
Limits on Workday Hours
Drivers of property-carrying trucks may not drive beyond their 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. For drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles, the limits are 15 hours on duty following 8 consecutive hours off duty.
In addition to these driving and workday hour limits, there are also numerous additional regulations regarding truck drivers' hours of service. These include the amount of hours they are permitted to work in a week and provisions for off-duty hours in a sleeper berth or cab. Companies and drivers are also required by law to keep extensive documentation and records of their hours. At Stern Law Group, our knowledge of these FMCSA regulations can ensure that we determine the extent of truck driver fatigue and liability involved in your accident.
Focused on Details
Our focus on intricately investigating all of the circumstances surrounding your case and on exhausting all possible avenues of evidence will ultimately allow your claim to be worked up to its full potential. Tired drivers are one of the most common causes of truck accidents, but they are not the only one. When we work on your claim, we do whatever it takes to win, which means determining your options, finding the best approach, and giving you the full commitment of our firm's efforts, skills, and resources.
To discuss your case with an attorney, contact Stern Law Group.