Long hours spent in traffic are extremely monotonous and exhausting for
even the most experienced and alert truck driver. Driver fatigue is responsible
for a significant percentage of trucking accidents and has become an intrinsic
part of the industry. This frightening reality increases the chances of
a devastating and fatal accident.
Despite hours-of-service regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration, many trucking companies breach these guidelines
in the interest of profit. Our team at the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg
has successfully fought for countless innocent drivers, passengers, motorists,
and pedestrians who have suffered at the hands of a fatigued driver.
Call an Orange County truck accident attorney at (949) 565-4281.
How an Experienced Orange County Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Although the laws are there to protect motorists from drowsy truck drivers,
many trucking companies feel that violating them while in pursuit of more
profits is worth the risk. Unfortunately, it is not until their bottom
lines are impacted after a civil lawsuit that many companies take notice
of the folly of their business practices.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident with a
truck, driver or trucking company negligence may or may not be immediately
apparent. An experienced personal injury attorney can ensure that the
exact cause of the accident is pinpointed and will work to recover compensation
for your financial and emotional losses that you are entitled to by law.
Why Do Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents Happen?
Truck drivers feel extreme pressure to cover as much ground as possible,
no matter what it takes. This is because their pay is almost always directly
linked to the more they travel, which incentivizes many drivers to overexert
themselves and consequently risk the lives of all others on the road.
Because drivers feel obligated to meet a nearly impossible schedule, they
may partake in unsafe behaviors such as speeding, pushing through rush-hour
traffic, illegal maneuvers, failing to take breaks, etc. Sometimes, drivers
attempt to combat drowsiness by taking drugs or stimulants to stay awake.
Can the Trucking Company Be Responsible for a Tired Truck Driver?
Although the law seems like it takes reasonable steps to reduce driver
fatigue, it is not popular within the trucking industry, which has called
for the new rules to be repealed. Trucking companies, which make their
money by meeting tight deadlines, put pressure on their drivers to do
whatever is necessary to ensure that the bottom line is not impacted.
Because of this pressure, many drivers falsify their logbooks, turn to
illegal drugs to stay awake, and ignore mandatory rest periods to ensure
that their cargos are delivered on time. Unfortunately, innocent motorists
on the road are put at risk as a result.
While the individual driver’s behavior must be addressed and examined,
trucking companies are most often liable for these accidents. As truck
accidents continue to rise throughout the nation, the FMCSA has outlined
strict regulations which restrict driving schedules and require minimal
hours of rest. However, the trucking industry has a long way to go in
order to truly reach acceptable standards of safety.
What are the Trucker Hours of Service Regulations?
Since a large portion of truck accidents are fatigue-related, the FMCSA
recently amended their hours of service regulations to address the problem.
Under the new rules, which became effective in July 2013, truck drivers
are limited to working a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel per day
and 70 hours per week.
Once the 70-hour maximum has been reached, each driver must rest for 34
consecutive hours over two nighttime periods between 1:00 and 5:00 a.m.,
when the body is in most need of rest. Additionally, drivers must take
a mandatory 30-minute break within the first eight hours of their shift.
Qualified & Dedicated Attorneys Tirelessly Advocating on Your Behalf
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident due to a
fatigued or negligent driver, we at the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg
will go above and beyond to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Our aggressive legal team will fight to ensure the responsible parties
are held accountable for what they have put you through. Do not allow
yourself to be taken advantage of by failing to properly protect your
We would love to be by your side.
Contact our firm to schedule an initial case evaluation by calling (949) 565-4281.