Connecticut Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorneys
Connecticut, because of its position between New York and Boston along the Eastern Seaboard, sees a great deal of truck traffic along its interstates and highways. While so much commerce is good for the economy, it also poses dangers because of the congested roads. Truck drivers have difficult jobs that require long hours and they are constantly battling fatigue, placing everyone around them in danger.
According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 13% of all large truck crashes in the United States are caused by driver fatigue, which accounted for 18,000 accidents during the study period. Overall, drowsy driving was listed as the cause of 2.5% of all fatal crashes between 2002–2009. There is a significant likelihood that driver fatigue will affect truck operators more than all other drivers, because of the long, lonely hours on the road.
Regulations for Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is charged with monitoring truck drivers throughout the United States to ensure that they comply with all safety regulations. FMCSA has established strict standards meant to protect against driver fatigue. These are called "Hours of Service" regulations (HOS). Drivers of commercial vehicles that are hauling either goods or passengers must follow these regulations at all times, or risk fines, penalties, or losing their commercial licenses. FMCSA’s rules include:
- Drivers carrying property or commercial goods have an 11-hour driving limit; they may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers carrying passengers have a 10-hour driving limit, after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
- A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers who use a sleeper berth must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
How Do You Determine Truck Driver Fatigue?
Unfortunately, for all of these regulations, accidents still happen regularly. And when it comes to investigating the causes of truck collisions, it can be difficult to determine when driver fatigue was involved. Commercial drivers are required by law to keep careful logs of their driving hours and downtime. However, these log entries can be falsified, especially following an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident and you suspect that driver fatigue was to blame, you will need an advocate who can quickly secure the driver logbook and look for corroborating evidence.
The experienced Connecticut truck accident attorneys at Naizby Law know exactly what to look for. We’ll immediately get to work investigating the corresponding facts, including the distances covered by the semi-truck, meal and fuel receipts, tollbooth receipts, and GPS records. When applicable, we’ll look into securing the phone and texting records of the driver, any relevant communications with the company, and eyewitness accounts. Any evidence that indicates inaccuracies in the driver’s time logs will be a strong boost to your case against him or her.
Trucking Companies Are Also Responsible for Their Drivers’ Behavior
In many instances, the driver is not solely to blame. If it can be shown that the driver’s company was behaving negligently in the way it enforced, communicated, or supervised HOS protocols, then it can be found liable for any damages that resulted from an accident caused by the fatigued driver.
The increase in business for delivery services from companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target means more delivery drivers on the streets. These delivery trucks may not be as large as the traditional semis, but their drivers are equally susceptible to fatigue, and the companies are equally responsible for enforcing HOS rules.
At Naizby Law, our entire staff is committed to representing victims and their families who have been impacted by the negligent operation of commercial trucking vehicles. Even if you’re not a resident of Connecticut, we regularly handle cases from out-of-state state visitors who were injured while in the state. Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (203) 245-8500 to schedule a free consultation.
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For over 20 years, John has exclusively represented people (not insurance companies).
John has received the America’s Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since the year 2000, John has been a Board Certified Civil Lawyer.
John is a graduate and senior instructor at the Trial Lawyers College.
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