Fort Myers Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
While drunk driving often garners the most headlines when it comes to traffic accidents, driver fatigue is often an under-appreciated cause. Indeed, studies have shown that a tired driver is just as dangerous as one who is intoxicated. After all, when someone is tired they are paying less attention to their surroundings and are slower to react to a sudden change in road conditions.
Fatigue is an especially big problem when it comes to commercial truck drivers. When you are operating an 80,000 semi-truck loaded with cargo, any amount of fatigue can lead to a catastrophic accident. For this reason, there are strict federal regulations in place to help prevent tired drivers from staying behind the wheel for too long without a break. But rules do not prevent every accident. And if you have been the victim of a tired trucker’s negligence, the Fort Myers truck driver fatigue accident lawyer at Cardinal Law, P.A., can assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries.
Federal Rules Do Not Always Protect Against Tired Truckers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency charged with regulating commercial trucks, has strict hours-of-service regulations. Under these regulations, drivers hauling cargo may only drive a maximum of 11 hours following at least 10 consecutive off-duty hours. A driver may also not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty. Drivers must also take at least one 30-minute break for every 8 cumulative hours they are behind the wheel.
But while the regulations dictate off-duty and break periods, that is no guarantee that drivers are actually getting enough sleep. It is not uncommon for drivers to suffer from sleep disorders due to their irregular schedules. And some drivers even rely on medications to help them “stay alert,” which can often have the exact opposite effect of exacerbating their fatigue.
Fatigued driving is reckless driving. So if fatigue has played a role in causing an accident, the truck driver and their employer can be held legally liable for any damages sustained by third parties. In some cases, it may be fairly simple to prove driver fatigue was a factor if the records show that the driver was on the road in excess of the service-of-hour rules. This is why it is crucial to engage an experienced truck driver fatigue accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. An attorney can immediately begin an investigation into all possible factors that may have contributed to the accident, which in turn can make it much easier for victims to successfully demand compensation from the negligent parties.
Contact Cardinal Law Today
Accidents caused by commercial trucks frequently leave victims with extensive medical bills and lost income. A personal injury claim enables those victims to recoup those losses, as well as compensation for their pain and suffering and other damages. So if you suspect that driver fatigue or some other form of negligence caused your accident, contact Cardinal Law, P.A., today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our staff.