Naples Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
One of the most commonly cited factors in commercial trucking accidents is driver fatigue. We all know and appreciate that truck drivers work long hours hauling cargo around the country. Unfortunately, far too many drivers push themselves beyond the physical–and legal–limits of what is safe. A fatigued driver can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver, if not more so in many cases.
If you or someone in your family has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is important to investigate the role that driver fatigue might have played. At Cardinal Law, P.A., our skilled Naples truck driver fatigue accident lawyer can sit down with you and review the facts and circumstances surrounding your crash. If fatigue was a cause, we will help you prove it and obtain any compensation that you may be entitled to under the law.
When Are Truckers Too Tired to Keep Driving?
Commercial truck drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Among other things, the FMCSA established “hours of service” rules, which dictate the maximum amount of time that a driver can spend behind the wheel before resting. For property-carrying drivers–i.e., truckers hauling cargo–they may stay behind the wheel for up to 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours spent off-duty. A driver may also not stay on the road beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. And drivers must take at least a 30-minute break after driving for 8 hours without interruption.
Of course, these are only maximum limits. A truck driver may experience fatigue well before they are legally required to go off-duty. There are a number of factors that may contribute to such fatigue:
- Illness and Use of Medication – If a truck driver is suffering from illness they may experience fatigue well before hitting the FMCSA hours of service limits. And if they are taking medication–prescription or otherwise–that can exacerbate potential fatigue. Indeed, many prescription medications list “drowsiness” as a known side effect.
- Scheduling – Truck driving is not a “9 to 5” job. It is common for drivers to work long hours and unusual shifts. This often wreaks havoc with the body’s natural sleep cycles. So even if a trucker does spend the required number of hours off-duty before getting back on the road, that is no guarantee that they received the proper amount of sleep.
- Economic Pressures – Truck drivers are typically paid by the mile, not the hour, and they are often required to meet very tight delivery deadlines. This contributed to a culture of prioritizing staying on the road despite clear signs of fatigue.
Contact Cardinal Law Today
It is never good when any driver falls asleep at the wheel. But when we are talking about a commercial truck driver, the consequences can be disastrous. So if you have been involved in a trucking accident, it is imperative that you seek out qualified legal advice from a Naples truck driver fatigue accident lawyer. Contact Cardinal Law, P.A., today to schedule a free initial consultation.