What You Should Know About Drowsy Driving And Trucking Accidents
Trucking collisions can result from a variety of circumstances. The cause of a collision could range from truck driver error to a negligently loaded truck bed, or even a defect in the truck itself. When trucking collisions do happen, it is important to find out about seeking compensation and to determine liability with assistance from a Birmingham attorney. One common cause of trucking accidents in Alabama is drowsy driving, also known as fatigued driving. While a motorist in a passenger car can be responsible for drowsy driving, it is often attributed to the long-haul trucker who is too tired to be behind the wheel safely. What do you need to know about drowsy driving and Birmingham truck accidents? Consider the following information from our attorneys.
Trucking Accidents Often Result from a Fatigued Truck Driver
Drowsy driving is among the leading causes of trucking accidents resulting from driver error. Long-haul truck drivers often are on the road for an extended period of time, and fatigued driving can become a serious issue. It is important to know that drowsy driving accidents, especially those involving fatigued truckers, do not just happen late at night or after dark. A trucking accident caused by fatigued driver can happen at any time of the day.
Long-Haul Truck Drivers Are Required to Adhere to Hours of Service Regulations to Prevent Drowsy Driving Collisions
Long-haul truck drivers must abide by hours of service regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Truckers can drive for a maximum of 11 hours only after having 10 consecutive hours off duty if their trucks are carrying property, and for a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive off-duty hours if carrying passengers. Drivers also must take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 hours. Failing to abide by these regulations can result in liability for a collision caused by drowsy driving.
Drowsy Driving Can Be as Dangerous as Intoxicated Driving
When a truck driver is drowsy, that driver’s impairment is comparable to that of an intoxicated person and just as dangerous. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being awake for 18 hours without sleep is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05.
Employers May Be Liable for Drowsy Driving Crashes
Employers of truck drivers can be liable for certain drowsy driving accidents caused by fatigued drivers. If an employer has required the truck driver to disobey hours of service regulations to complete a route more quickly, they could be held liable for an accident that occurs due to drowsy driving. It is also possible for an employer to be found liable for the truck driver’s negligence through the doctrine of respondeat superior.
If you believe an employer is liable for a drowsy driving truck accident, you should have a Birmingham attorney evaluate your case and discuss your options for seeking compensation.
Contact Our Birmingham Attorneys
If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries in a trucking collision in or around Birmingham, you may be eligible to file a claim. You should seek advice from one of the experienced Birmingham trucking accident attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk as soon as possible.