Drowsy driving is a serious problem for everyone on the road, but drivers of semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, tankers, and other large commercial vehicles are particularly at risk. Truck drivers must bear the responsibility for staying awake and alert while on the job, or they face the consequences of causing a devastating crash that can take innocent lives on the road around them.
If you've been injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued driver, the trucking company may be held responsible for the harm caused. Keep reading to see how.
Drowsy Driving Statistics
Driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous for anyone, but it is especially a risk for truck drivers. One study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that as many as 13 percent of large truck crashes were caused by fatigue.
Truck drivers put a lot of time behind the wheel, and there are strict regulations (called “Hours of Service” or “HOS” rules) that limit the time a driver can spend on the road every day. But trucking is a difficult industry with tight time standards, and these regulations aren’t always followed, causing drivers to put lives on the line by driving beyond the limit of what is acceptable. Some of the consequences of drowsy driving include:
- Loss of awareness of the road, other cars, and obstacles
- Compromised judgment for speeding, slowing, and negotiating turns or other obstacles
- Slower reflexes and increased reaction time to hazards
- Impaired memory and lower concentration on the task of driving
- Mood changes that can cause erratic driving
When a truck driver is fatigued and causes an accident with another vehicle or a pedestrian, he or she can face legal liability for any injuries, deaths, or property damage that result, especially if the driver has violated HOS rules. If the trucking company is involved or found to be encouraging drivers to break federal HOS laws for any reason, the company itself may also be found to be liable for accidents that happen as a result.
Get Legal Help After a Truck Accident Caused By Driver Fatigue in South Carolina
A truck accident attorney who understands the complex rules and regulations of the trucking industry can help injured people after an accident by handling the crash investigation, negotiating your insurance claims, and representing you in any lawsuits that you need to claim a full and fair recovery.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger have years of experience handling cases like yours, and would be honored to help you and your family with the legal recovery process while you focus on healing. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, and we proudly serve the Sumter and Florence areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina. Call us today at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC), or start a live chat 24/7 with a real, live person to arrange a free and confidential consultation.