When people think of the leading causes of accidents in Florence, they may think of drinking, drugs, and distractions. But fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as intoxicated or distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving results in hundreds of deaths every year. And Alabama’s Department of Transportation notes that over 2,600 crashes involved fatigued drivers in just one recent year.
Fatigued driving accidents are preventable accidents. If a drowsy driver has hurt you, the Florence truck accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are here to stand up for you and demand fair compensation from the at-fault driver, the company that employs them, and any other responsible entity.
After a drowsy driving truck accident, you want to be sure that you have qualified and experienced lawyers on your side. At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., our firm is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and we have decades of experience fighting for injury victims in Florence and throughout North Alabama. Since 1966, we’ve been representing our neighbors and fighting for the compensation they need when they’re hurt.
Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us show how we can help you.
How Dangerous Is It for Truckers to Drive While Tired?
It is extremely dangerous for fatigued truck drivers to be on the road. According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue is a major cause of large truck accidents. Driver fatigue caused approximately 18,000 accidents or 13% of truck accidents in the study. That means tens of thousands of preventable accidents and serious injuries for others on the road.
Truck Driver Hours-of-Service Regulations
The government and law enforcement fight truck driver fatigue accidents through hours-of-service regulations. These anti-drowsy-driving laws place strict limits on when a driver can operate and how many hours they can be on the road. Some of the critical parts of the regulations for drivers hauling cargo include:
- An 11-hour driving limit after 10 hours off
- A prohibition on driving after the 14th hour back on duty
- 30-minute driving break requirements
- Limitations on how many hours a driver can drive in a seven- or eight-day period
Investigating a Drowsy Driving Truck Accident in Florence
Investigating a drowsy truck driving accident can be challenging. There are several reasons for this, such as:
- Complex accident scenes – Truck accidents can involve vehicles that weigh tens of thousands of pounds. That can mean serious accidents that send debris across a wide area and make investigation challenging.
- Extensive paperwork – Truck drivers must keep detailed records of their cargo, inspections, and hours of service. Gathering and reviewing the paperwork as part of an investigation can take enormous amounts of time and in-depth knowledge of trucking regulations.
- Difficulty in determining whether the driver was asleep at the moment of the accident – Following an accident, police often rely on drivers to self-report fatigue, and drivers aren’t always honest. If a truck driver is killed in an accident caused by falling asleep while driving a truck, it’s up to investigators to understand what happened.
- On-board sensors and electronics – Modern trucks have a wide range of electronic data recorders that capture speed, braking, and maneuver data. Reviewing the data and understanding whether it shows fatigue can be challenging, even for seasoned investigators.
If you were involved in a truck accident, and you believe driver fatigue played a role, get in touch with an experienced lawyer at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., today. We can review your case and let you know how an investigation could help.
Why Do Fatigued Driver Truck Accidents Happen?
Fatigued driver accidents happen because truckers may not get enough sleep or get poor quality sleep. They also may naturally get drowsy at certain times of the day and night. Fatigued driver accidents are much more likely to occur during the late afternoon and the late-night period between midnight and 6 a.m.
Fatigue can seriously impair a driver’s ability to function behind the wheel. It can increase reaction times, result in bad decision-making, and even result in the driver falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue can lead to catastrophic injuries for the truck driver and everyone else on the road.
Who Is at Fault for a Drowsy Driving Truck Wreck?
Truck accident liability will depend on many different factors. The driver and the trucking company they work for could be liable if they failed to follow Hours of Service regulations or were otherwise careless or reckless. The driver must ensure they get the rest required by law and that they are fit to operate the vehicle safely. If they cause an accident due to fatigue, both the driver and the company could be liable for your injuries.
When to Contact a Lawyer in Florence After a Fatigued Driver Truck Accident
The time to contact a lawyer is as soon as possible following a crash. A truck wreck can result in severe injuries that land you in the hospital. Although it might not seem like the time to get legal help, the fact is that hiring a lawyer right away could be one of the wisest moves you’ll make, protecting yourself and your legal claim for compensation.
A truck accident lawyer can handle any discussions with the insurance company, file your claim, and gather critical evidence for your case. That means your lawyer can take the stress of seeking compensation off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
No matter what challenges you’re facing, your lawyer will be focused on protecting you from the trucking company’s insurance representatives and others who might look to deny or diminish your claim.
Contact Our Experienced Florence Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Lawyers Today
If a drowsy truck driver has injured you, don’t wait to get the skilled legal representation you deserve. Contact Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., and speak with one of our Florence truck accident lawyers right away.
It’s our goal to deliver compassionate, dedicated, and professional service to every client. We’re here for you. You can reach us 24/7, and we’ll be ready to discuss your case during a free consultation when you call our Florence office or contact us online.