Driver fatigue is a known hazard and is why there are rules and regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration that govern drivers of commercial motor vehicles. Unfortunately, drivers are pushed to drive beyond the legal limit. They are fatigued and less alert which can lead to crashes. Truck driver fatigue accidents in West Palm Beach can have terrible consequences. If you have been injured in a truck driver fatigue accident, consult a determined truck accident attorney that can work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Leading Cause of Driver Fatigue Leading to Truck Accidents
The primary cause of fatigue that leads to truck driver fatigue accidents in West Palm Beach is driving over the regulated hours of service. Driver fatigue can lead to failing to properly judge distances and make bad choices. A fatigued driver can have difficulty determining distances and the time needed to make a safe turn. Fatigue leads to a general lack of good decision making. It increases poor decision making and bad driving. The Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Regulations govern acceptable driving time for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and interstate transport.
Legal Amount of Hours a Truck Driver Can Work
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation governs how much time a driver can drive continuously; how much time a driver can drive; when breaks are required; and the length of the break before the driver can get back on the road. Sadly, there is a mentality of money for miles. Drivers in trucking companies do not adhere to the Federal Motor Safety Regulations and find ways to avoid the proper reporting. When it comes to the amount of hours per week a truck driver is allowed to work, there are too many exceptions to say a hard and fast rule.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that truck drivers keep logs. In the past, these were hand-written logs that documented the truck driver’s on-duty time, their driving time, and their rest time. It is on-duty driving, on-duty not driving, and rest times. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently in the process of transitioning trucking companies to an electronic logging system.
Liability for Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
When a driver is driving over the hours of service, it can be argued that the driver caused a collision. The more time the driver is over the hours of service, the more likely that fatigue had a role in causing a collision. Despite the terrible consequences that truck driver fatigue accidents in West Palm Beach can have, it is not a crime to choose to drive while too tired.
If a truck driver is found to be responsible for an accident as the result of hours of service violations, the attorney must prove the hours of service violation of the truck driver that is evidence of negligence. If the trucking company was aware or should have been aware of the violation of hours of service by the driver, that can potentially lead to punitive damages against the trucking company and increased damages, if not punitive. Any individuals who have been injured in a fatigued truck driver accident should seek a truck accident lawyer that can attempt to help them prove liability and recover damages.