Delaware Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Injured in Trucking Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue
Experienced injury lawyers representing clients in truck accident lawsuits
Truck drivers who drive when they are drowsy put themselves and those with whom they share the road in great peril. Lack of adequate sleep leads to fatigue, which dulls the driver’s reflexes and slows down response time when they are behind the wheel. Drowsy truck drivers are a tremendous threat to highway safety, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently overhauled their Hours of Service (HOS rules) for commercial truck drivers.
At the law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we know how devastating it can be to survive a truck accident with serious injuries. We know how to investigate the truck accident, find out who is at fault and then pursue compensation on our clients’ behalf. We do not rest until we get justice for our clients.
Understanding the problem
In a post on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s blog about truck driver fatigue, Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation said, “. . . our rules must protect against those drivers and trucking companies who are tempted to push the limits and put our families and loved ones at risk. Nearly 4,000 people die in large truck crashes each year and driver fatigue is a leading factor. Tragically, the truck drivers themselves sometimes die driving tired.”
Changing the law, however, does not always change driver behavior. Truck driver work very hard and under the extreme pressure of tight deadlines. Drivers push themselves hard to meet those rigorous schedules because they are not getting paid to rest.
Truck driver fatigue causes accidents
When a driver is extremely tired, their exhaustion makes it impossible for them to gauge their own level of fatigue and discern when they are just too tired to drive. An exhausted truck driver can nod off at the wheel, and if they happen to be travelling at highway speeds, the now out of control truck can cause an accident putting the driver’s life and those with whom he or she shares the road in grave danger. A driver does not even have to fall asleep to become a danger on the highway. Their slowed reaction time can cause them to not respond in time, or overcorrect when they see that they have begun to veer off course.
Gathering the evidence of drowsy driving as the cause of a truck accident
After an accident during the course of the investigation, there will be several theories in play about what might have caused the crash. Drowsy driving might be just one of the contributing factors under consideration. Investigators can examine the driver’s logbook, they can take statements from the driver and any witnesses, and they can look at any GPS data that might be available. Large, commercial trucks often have “black boxes” that record the vehicle’s speed, braking and steering that occurred right before the accident happened. When there has been no evidence of braking, or swerving to avoid the crash, it is often an indication that the driver had nodded off and did not see the collision coming.
Driving in violation of the HOS rules is breaking the law. When a driver ends up causing an accident and it can be proven that they were operating the truck in violation of the HOS guidelines their commercial license will be in jeopardy. The truck driver and the trucking company that employs them may be held liable for any injuries and property damage that occur in the accident caused by their drowsy driving.
The Delaware truck accident attorneys at the law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman are here to protect your interests when you have been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver. If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, our compassionate legal team will make sure to get compensation for your losses. We are here to help.
Contact our trusted truck accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation
The legal team at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman is proud to represent those who have been injured in a truck accident. We investigate your accident and hold the responsible party liable for your injuries. You may schedule your initial free consultation with one of our Delaware auto accident attorneys today when you call us at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in Wilmington, Seaford and Newark from which we serve clients throughout Delaware.