Tired Truckers Put Everyone on the Road at Risk – Miami Truck Accident Lawyer
Miami Truck Accident Lawyer: Over-the-road commercial truckers – the drivers behind the wheels of 18-wheel tractor-trailers that haul a significant proportion of the things Americans buy daily to their destinations – often spend long hours driving considerable distances to deliver their payloads on time. A shortage of truck drivers is pushing the drivers who are on the road to the limit. Driver fatigue can be a result of long hours, insufficient sleep, and many other factors, but while truckers are under stringent federal regulations regarding how many hours a day they can drive, even those regulations let drivers go as much as 11 hours a day before taking a break.
The National Institutes of Health has documented the effects of fatigue on drivers, including long-haul truckers. The impact can include reduced driver performance, such as:
- Slowed response times
- Inattention to the road
- Poor decision-making by drivers.
The NIH concluded that driver fatigue could raise the risk of crashes as a result of fatigue-induced poorer driver performance.
Unfortunately, the incentives for truck drivers to stay on the road as much as possible are considerable. Drivers often are paid by the mile, encouraging drivers to stay on the road right up to the federal limits to ensure they get as many miles per day as possible while remaining in compliance with federal regulations. The incentive is to drive those hours even when the driver is tired and should get some sleep. The result can be poor decisions and serious driving errors by fatigued drivers, including drifting across lanes, tailgating, failure to signal when making lane changes, failure to brake far enough in advance – trucks are notoriously difficult to slow down because of their size and weight — and similar errors. These errors can result in serious injuries or death.
Driver Fatigue Has Serious Effects on Truck Drivers’ Performance
Not surprisingly, long hours on the road results in tired truckers, and that results in accidents. Driver fatigue invariably results in poorer driver performance. Federal statistics indicate at least 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.
While federal statistics name sleep deprivation as a factor in about 100,000 traffic accidents and more than 1,500 highway deaths annually, other studies indicate that driver fatigue among commercial truckers may contribute to more accidents than the statistics indicate. Some studies have suggested that driver fatigue or sleep deprivation could be a factor in as many as 30 to 40 percent of traffic accidents involving commercial trucks. In fact, a survey of long-haul truckers found that two-thirds of drivers admitted to having some level of fatigue on at least half of their trips. Two-thirds also reported having fatigue symptoms such as yawning, feeling sleepy, and having difficulty staying awake while behind the wheel. The survey found that 13 percent of long-haul truckers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel while driving.
If You Have Been Injured in an Accident with A Fatigued Trucker, Contact a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident with a truck where the driver may have been driving drowsy, you should talk to a Miami personal injury attorney with experience in fatigued-driver truck accidents. You could have options to recover compensation, but you need an accident lawyer who knows the ins and outs of fatigued-trucker crashes. Contact Flagler Personal Injury Group at (305) 424-8445 or through our online contact form. Flagler Personal Injury Group serves the greater Miami area.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Truck Accident Lawyer.