Driver fatigue is a serious issue. Fatigued drivers may end up becoming complacent, making it difficult for them to react to potential hazards. Fatigued drivers also become hazards themselves, becoming incapable to maintain the focus necessary to watch out for other drives. This lack of awareness can cause accidents, placing other drivers at risk for serious injuries. If you have been injured, get in touch with a compassionate attorney. A Lafayette truck driver fatigue accident lawyer may be able to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
When Does Driver Fatigue Begin to Occur?
It is hard for someone to be devotedly attentive to the roadway for an extended amount of time. A driver is usually always more careful in the 1st hour of travel than on the 10th. By the time the driver is on their 10th hour of travel, they may be hungry, sleepy, tired, worn out, or tired of focusing, and may become complacent about recognizing potential hazards. That includes the inability to prevent an accident as well as the ability to cause an accident because they drifted into another lane or they did not realize they were speeding.
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Rules and Regulations in Place to Prevent Truck Driver Safety
The Federal Motor Carrier Act regulates the amount of time that truck drivers can drive on a continual basis. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Act, for every 11 hours of driving, a driver needs 10 hours of rest. With 10 hours of driving, drivers need 8 hours to rest.
Under the Federal Motor Carrier Act, a truck driver may work 60 hours on duty in a seven-day workweek and 70 hours on duty on an eight-day workweek. The driver may restart a seven or eight-day consecutive period after having 34 or more consecutive hours off-duty.
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How do Drivers and their Employers Keep Track of the Hours Logged?
The employers and the drivers keep track of their driving time through a multitude of ways. Some truck drivers certainly may only log in or log out. They may use their CB to notify their employer that they are taking their break, so that log could be maintained by the driver or the employer.
There are also electronic systems in the truck that maintain that type of data with regard to hours of operation. When the truck is operating, the electronic systems may note that the truck is traveling and when the truck driver is sleeping. They may also note when the truck is off. There are other systems that also maintain other data in the truck, and these can be used in a motor vehicle accident case.
Issuing Responsibility in Lafayette Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents
The degree of responsibility assigned to the truck driver is going to be shared with the truck driving company. The truck driving company is going to be liable in solido, which means ‘together with, the truck driver. Any act or omission of negligence committed by the driver is legally imputed to the truck driving company, when the drive is in the course and scope of their employment.
The opposite is not necessarily true. If there is an act or omission of negligence that is simply made by the company, that act does not necessarily imputed to the driver unless that driver knew or should have known of that omission or act of negligence. For help with issuing or assigning fault in a truck driver fatigue crash, consult with a Lafayette truck driver fatigue accident lawyer.
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Absolving a Truck Driver of Negligence in an Accident Related to Driver Fatigue
There is no unique legal defense that is going to absolve a truck driver of responsibility for their negligent acts or omissions. They may have some doctrines or defenses that are applicable to car accidents in general, such as the sudden emergency doctrine or the other car failing to take evasive action that could have avoided the accident.
Those kinds of factors may decrease their responsibility. More likely than not, there will be a comparative fault analysis in which fault is placed on another party rather than the actual truck driver being completely absolved of responsibility due to another person’s negligence.
Importance of Contacting a Lafayette Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney
Truck accidents can prove to deliver painful injuries to the victims involved. However, in truck driver fatigue accidents, they may prove to be especially harmful due to the driver’s inability to react in time to avoid the accident. This may cause a truck driver to crash directly into barricades and/or other drivers. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries due to such an event, be sure to get in touch with a Lafayette truck driver fatigue accident lawyer.