Understanding Driver Fatigue

Truck Accidents & Truck Driver Fatigue

In the trucking industry, driver fatigue has been a long-standing problem. Its magnitude has reached such epidemic proportions that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has tightened up the guidelines for its hours of service regulations, thereby limiting a truck driver's work week from 82 hours to 70 hours, among other stricter regulations.

If you were injured in a truck accident involving a fatigued truck driver, you are urged to contact Attorney James Flinn. As a New Orleans personal injury lawyer, Attorney James Flinn has handled over one hundred cases in Louisiana and his notable achievements include membership in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40.

Facts About Fatigued Driving

Sleepiness and driving is a dangerous combination, and it's even worse if a driver is operating a commercial vehicle that weighs over 10,000 pounds. We are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but many people do not realize that fatigued driving can be just as deadly.

Truck drivers suffer from fatigue for a number of reasons, this includes: sleep loss because they have been forced by their employer to "drive through the night," chronic sleep debt, circadian factors associated with driving patterns and work schedules, time spent on the road without a break, sedating medications, and alcohol consumption when already tired.

All of these factors have cumulative effects and a combination of any of the above can greatly increase the risk for a fatigue-related crash. According to the National Sleep Association, fatigued driving causes:

  • Impaired reaction time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired vision
  • Decreased performance
  • Increased aggressive behaviors

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 37% of drivers surveyed admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at some point in their driving career, and the National Safety Council reports that 60% admitted to falling asleep while driving on an interstate-type highway with posted speed limits of 55 mph or higher.

Contact a New Orleans truck accident attorney today!

While truck drivers are required to follow the hours of service regulations imposed by the FMCSA, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to violate the rules regularly. Sadly, fatigued driving is a serious form of negligence and it puts other drivers and passengers at grave risk.

If you were injured because of a fatigued truck driver, contact our personal injury firm for immediate assistance. Attorney Flinn is prepared to go up against the trucking company and their big insurance carrier and he will not accept a low-ball settlement offer.

You deserve to be fairly compensated for your losses, contact us to schedule a free case evaluation!