TRUCK ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY DRIVER FATIGUE
Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of truck accidents on highways and roads that are frequently traveled by trucks, including the I-10 corridor and roads and bridges through the Atchafalaya Basin. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development released a report in 2015 that indicated trucking accounts for about 58 percent of the tonnage (shipping in terms of total carrying capacity) moved in, out, and through the state (excluding pipelines). Therefore, it is not a surprise there is a lot of 18-wheeler traffic in southern Louisiana — and, unfortunately, a lot of serious and sometimes fatal truck accidents.
According to drowsydriving.org, a site by The National Sleep Foundation, at least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue of commercial drivers-especially long-haul drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that commercial drivers who operate vehicles such as tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses are more likely to drive drowsy. “Drowsy driving,” explained by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, occurs when a person who is operating a motor vehicle is too tired to remain alert. As a result the driver may have slow reaction times, reduced vigilance and impaired thinking. In the worst case the driver may fall asleep behind the wheel.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations allow drivers of large trucks to drive up to 11 hours during a 14-consecutive-hour period. “A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period, however, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.” Once a driver drives a total of 11 hours, the driving limit is reached, and he/she must be off duty for another 10 consecutive hours (or equivalent) before driving a truck again. However, surveys point out that many drivers violate those regulations and work longer than permitted.
If a truck driver’s negligence caused your accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. A truck accident investigation requires an expert who specializes in 18-wheeler and other heavy vehicle accidents. Maintenance logbooks must be examined along with whether the truck driver followed all federal highway regulations. There also may be more than one potentially liable party if the tractor and trailer is owned separately and if it is leased. Our Louisiana truck accident lawyers will work quickly to determine the cause of your truck accident and build your case.
Immediate and proper medical treatment is important if you or a loved one suffered a life-changing injury from a truck accident. If you do not have medical insurance or are otherwise unable to afford proper care, talk to our law firm. We may be able to help you get the immediate medical attention you need. Do not be talked into signing a settlement until you know how bad your truck accident injuries are and what you will need for recovery. Call or email our Lafayette truck accident attorneys to investigate your case thoroughly. We also represent families of wrongful death victims.