Truck Driver Fatigue & Auto Accidents
While most drivers in Los Angeles are familiar with the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there is another form of unsafe driving behavior: drowsy driving. A driver who is driving while drowsy or fatigued can substantially increase the risk of an auto accident. When that driver is a truck driver, the stakes are even higher.
Truck accidents in Los Angeles are often the cause of serious crashes. The sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles make them a dangerous force to be reckoned with. When the truck driver is fatigued but pushing to make an unrealistic deadline set by an employer looking at the bottom line and not the lives of innocent victims, the results can be catastrophic, leading to multi car pile ups, rollover accidents and death.
Both truck drivers and their employers are responsible for taking the necessary steps to avoid the risks associated with fatigued driving. When they don’t, our experienced accident attorneys are here to hold them liable for the accidents and injuries they cause.
What Causes Truck Driver Fatigue?
Common causes of truck driver fatigue include:
- Getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle without adequate sleep
- Driving for too long without a break
- Unrealistic deadlines
Under the law, truck drivers can drive for 11 consecutive hours after spending 10 consecutive hours somewhere other than behind the wheel of their trucks. Unfortunately, even with adherence to those regulations, truck drivers can still experience fatigue after many hours on the road.
Other elements can also increase the odds of truck driver drowsiness, including:
- Prescription and non-prescription drug use
- Working unusual shifts
In many cases, truck drivers get paid by the mile, not by the amount of time they spend behind the wheel or on the road. As a result, many of them will choose to continue driving even as fatigue sets in, hoping they can make it that extra mile. In some cases, their bodies simply cannot handle the exertion and they fall asleep at the wheel, causing a serious truck accident.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you will want to know your legal rights and whether you are able to file charges against the driver's employer, seeking compensation from them for your injuries. For a free, no obligation consultation, contact the skilled accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today.