Injured? Get help here!
Call Us 24/7 call
(850) 433-6581

Drowsy driving is dangerous no matter what vehicle is involved. Trucking is dangerous under the best of circumstances. Combine the two, and the likelihood of a wreck that leads to severe injuries or death is significant. Faced with tight deadlines and long hauls, truckers are more likely than other drivers to get behind the wheel when they are tired. Even with federal rules limiting how many hours a trucker can drive in a stretch, truck drivers may struggle to stay aware and alert.

Determining if trucker fatigue contributed to a tractor-trailer collision can be challenging. The legal team at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can take steps to investigate the crash and gather evidence to support your case. Contact us to learn more about pursuing legal action against fatigued truck drivers in Pace accidents.

Fatigued Truckers Are a Known Problem

Truckers driving while tired is such a significant problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules governing how many hours a trucker can drive. Under those regulations, a trucker can only drive 11 hours in a day and—for team drivers—work a maximum of 14 hours a day. Driving time must follow at least 10 off-the-road hours. Plus, truckers must take a 30-minute break every eight hours.

While these rules can help reduce truckers getting tired, they are clearly not enough to prevent truckers from driving while sleepy. Common sense makes that clear—anyone who has ever driven a long stretch knows that eight hours behind the wheel is exhausting. While some trucks have electronic logs, others log their own hours. Logs are easy to manipulate, and random inspections rarely occur, making the rules almost impossible to enforce.

While it may not seem that way to casual drivers, trucking is a high-stress profession. Sleeping can be difficult for truckers, who may have to deal with other stressors and try to sleep in noisy truck stop parking lots. Using sleeping pills and stimulants is common—only exacerbating insomnia and exhaustion. The cumulative effect of sleep deprivation can cause them to fall asleep on the job, leading to fatigued trucker wrecks in Pace.

How Drowsy Driving Increases the Risk of Crashes

Fatigue impacts reaction time, coordination, and attention—no wonder drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. It also leads to the chance that the trucker will actually nod off, leaving them in a truck that is entirely out of control.

Many truckers try to combat sleepiness by using stimulants like caffeine, cocaine, or amphetamines. These substances—legal or illegal—cannot replace sleep. Being awake is not the same as being alert; stimulants do not improve reaction time or the ability to respond to developing situations. This is especially dangerous in a truck because of the increased stopping distance and difficulty maneuvering the vehicle. Fatigued truck drivers not only increase the risk of truck accidents in Pace but also the probability of high-speed collisions.

The Challenges of Proving Drowsy Driving

Few truckers will acknowledge that they were drowsy or asleep at the time of an accident. They know that doing so could lead to them losing their license and to civil liability for the injuries. Fortunately, they do not have to admit it. A proactive lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can use investigative skills to find evidence of fatigued driving in Pace 18-wheeler crashes.

One way to establish driver fatigue is to show that the trucker was on the road in violation of FMCSA rules. Even if the driver’s log does not show extended driving times, gas station receipts, mileage reports, and even GPS systems can help establish a driver is on the road.

It is critical to contact the police after an accident. First responders have training that helps them identify signs of driver fatigue. While those observations may not prove drowsy driving by themselves, they are additional information that an attorney can use to prove trucker fatigue in an accident.

Contact a Pace Attorney After a Crash Caused by a Fatigued Truck Driver

After a wreck with a heavy commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to substantial damages. The value of a compensation award depends on the extent of your physical injury and its impact on your earning capacity, personal life, and physical health.

Consult the seasoned legal team at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon about fatigued truck drivers in Pace accidents. They can evaluate your case, provide an opinion about who is at fault, and give a preliminary estimate of the potential value of your claim.