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Trucking Accidents and Driver Fatigue

When it comes to auto accidents with large trucks, even the smallest collision can be deadly. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016. Unfortunately, one of the primary causes of such accidents is driver fatigue.


Driver fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion and can severely impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. If a driver is fatigued, they may experience one of the following symptoms:

  •   Trouble focusing
  •   Inability to keep their eyes open
  •   Short-term memory loss
  •   Slower reaction time
  •   Wandering thoughts
  •   Wandering eyes
  •   Constant yawning
  •   Inability to stay in the lane


There are many things that may contribute to driver fatigue. Lack of a quality/quantity of sleep and driving through the night are the most common, especially with large truck drivers. Truck drivers are often under extreme pressure to meet delivery deadlines, make up lost time due to weather, or log a certain number of miles. As a result, truck drivers tend to drive while fatigued, increasing the likeliness that they will be in an accident. Unfortunately for the other drivers on the road, the common car does not stand a chance against an 80,000 lbs. semi-truck.


There are regulations on both the state and federal levels to combat truck driver fatigue. Large truck drivers are permitted to drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours, provided they have take the next 10 consecutive hours off. Truck drivers are required to log their time driving, their time on duty but not driving (loading or unloading the truck), and their time off duty. The trucking companies are also responsible for making sure their drivers are following these rules, but it can be difficult to know when a driver has omitted certain information from their logs, therefore making it difficult to know if a driver has violated the regulations.  


Despite best efforts to drive safely, large truck accidents do happen. If you or a loved one have been injured by a large truck, be sure to hire an attorney. Find a lawyer,with extensive experience securing the maximum fair compensation in auto accident cases. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you can feel comfortable knowing that the attorney and their legal staff understand the laws and nuances of such a case.

If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you might be entitled to carry out legal action against the driver or truck company.

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