Driving without enough sleep endangers the lives of others on the road. Semi-truck drivers, who often drive long hours with the pressure of tight deadlines, are at high risk for drowsy driving. Many truck drivers develop sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and some even resort to illegal drug use to stay awake. Our semi-truck accident lawyers recently obtained a significant recovery for the family of a semi-truck driver killed by another truck driver who was under the influence of marijuana.
Put in place to prevent fatigue-related crashes and help truck drivers get more sleep, the federal “Hours of Service” (HOS) regulations limit the number of driving hours for commercial vehicles to 11 consecutive hours. Drivers must take a 30-minute break for every eight hours of driving time. Most truck drivers and companies resist these regulations, claiming they place too many restrictions on the number of miles they can travel and can force drivers to be on the road during unsafe conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) plans to publish a proposed revision to the HOS by July 31st of this year that promises more flexibility for truck drivers. Safety advocates, including semi-truck accident lawyers, believe that relaxing the HOS regulations could have fatal consequences.
Fatigued Truck Drivers Cause Fatal Accidents
Studies have shown that sleepiness impairs driving performance as much or more so than alcohol. Sleepiness slows reflexes, making it more difficult to avoid a crash or hit the brakes. Semi-truck drivers, who operate vehicles that weigh tens of thousands of pounds, can cause devastating crashes by driving while fatigued. According to a study by the FMCSA, 13% of large truck drivers were fatigued at the time of a serious crash.
Can I Sue a Negligent Truck Driver?
Yes, when a negligent truck driver causes a crash, you can sue the driver and the company whose authority the driver was under at the time of the crash. If the crash resulted in a death, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Our truck accident law firm represents people harmed by negligent truck drivers and companies. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Fill out the form below, call 1-888-377-8900, or text 612-261-0856 for a free consultation.