Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents
Truck driver fatigue accidents are among the most common and dangerous on Atlanta’s roads and Georgia’s highways. The problem of tired drivers is so prevalent that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific regulations for the trucking industry to avoid driver fatigue. Drivers and trucking companies must strictly abide by these regulations that, among other things, limit the hours a driver can be on the road and require logs that record these hours. Commercial truckers must comply with these rules to avoid danger to themselves and others on the road. When they don’t abide by them and an accident occurs, there can be significant liability.
The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Scholle Law know that truck driver fatigue crashes can cause severe injuries. Victims need vital support after a tractor-trailer accident, including medical care and legal advice and representation. It is necessary that victims also recover emotionally from the trauma of being involved in an accident with a fatigued truck driver.
Under Code of Federal Regulations, section 392.3,“[n]o driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver's ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.” This provision does allow that “in a case of grave emergency where the hazard to occupants of the commercial motor vehicle or other users of the highway would be increased by compliance with this section, the driver may continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle to the nearest place at which that hazard is removed.”
Drowsiness is known to slow a driver’s reaction time, decrease awareness and impair judgment. It is said that as much as 20 percent of safety-critical trucking events (crashes and near-crashes), include driver drowsiness as a contributing factor. (Source: NTHSA) It is for this reason that there are strict rules requiring commercial truck drivers to follow the 11-hour and 60/70 rules. Truck drivers are not permitted to drive more than 11 consecutive hours in a 14-hour period and this must be followed by 10 hours off-duty. Overall, drivers may not spend more than 60 hours on-duty within a seven-day period or 70 hours on-duty within an eight-day period. They must have breaks from driving after on-duty periods.
Georgia law adopts these regulations and requires that trucking companies follow stringent safety requirements to ensure drivers are properly logging their hours on and off the road, taking precautions to avoid fatigue and are properly trained with regard to safe driving practices.
There are many types of accidents that can be caused by a tired driver of a large truck. Truck driver fatigue accidents can involve lane departures, failure to yield to other vehicles, rear-end accidents and many others. Very often, the resulting injuries are severe and even catastrophic.
Many research studies have been performed in the past decade with regard to the severe problem of driver fatigue. There are efforts underway to develop systems that warn truck drivers when they are becoming dangerously fatigued and are closing their eye. Technology, once mandated, should assist in the terrible problem of truck driver fatigue.
Atlanta area truck driver fatigue accident lawyers at Scholle Law, have the expertise to help your family after an accident. They will fight for all the rights and remedies to which you and your family are entitled and will keep you informed of developments in your case. In short, you will not be a “number” or “just another case” when you retain our highly-respected and highly-rated legal representation.
CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION REGARDING YOUR TRUCK DRIVER FATIGUE ACCIDENT WITH SCHOLLE LAW in Duluth, Georgia at 770-717-5100 and toll free at 866-972-5287.
We have a main office in Duluth and our law firm serves clients with convenient offices in the Perimeter, Decatur and Midtown we represent truck driver fatigue accident victims throughout metro Atlanta and Georgia.