Elizabeth City, NC- Truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons and have a variety of outcomes. Passenger vehicle drivers cause the majority truck accidents but truck driver fatigue can be attributed to a large number of accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 13 percent of truck accidents nationwide in 2013 were caused by fatigued truck drivers which means a large number of truck accidents in North Carolina can also be attributed to driver fatigue.
Firstly, it’s important to say that majority of truck drivers have impeccable safety records, but there are some bad actors and people who make serious mistakes. Truck drivers, especially long-haul drivers, have difficult jobs. They spend long hours driving, waiting in traffic and loading and unloading their trucks, so naturally they may become tired, sleepy or fatigued.
Fatigue is mental and physical leaving a driver with slowed motor responses and declining attention which leaves a truck driver unable to react quickly and appropriately in an emergency situation. A fatigued truck driver could easily nod off and lose control of their truck, jackknife or strike another vehicle.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that chronic fatigue occurs in truck drivers who work long hours without getting sufficient rest between driving shifts. The safety agency also found that truck drivers, and passenger vehicle motorists, often don’t realize when they are fatigued and also fail to realize that they are weaving. A fatigued truck driver doesn’t know their driving is getting worse.
Fortunately, for the motoring public, there are federal regulations in place to reduce the likelihood of a fatigued driving accident. The current hours-of-service rules are complicated and require truck drivers take regular breaks. For every 8 hour shift a truck driver works, they must take at least one 30 minute rest period. The other rule, known as the restart rule, requires a truck driver have two rest periods, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. after a seven day work week. This rule prohibits drivers from starting another work-week without resting for a period of at least 34 hours.
Those federal regulations, however, are often violated and sometimes the end result is a catastrophic accident. If you have been the victim of a fatigued truck driver, USAttorneys recommends you contact a truck accident lawyer in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to find out your rights.
Passenger vehicle motorists aren’t the only ones who can harmed in a truck accident, drivers are often seriously injured or killed on the job. If you are a truck driver and was injured on a job you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
When you enlist one of our truck accident lawyers, you can be confident that someone is fighting to get justice for you and your loved ones. You can count on our accomplished team of accident lawyers in North Carolina to be your advocate and obtain the settlement you deserve.