Driver fatigue contributes to many motor vehicle accidents in Alpharetta and across the country. Truckers are particularly at risk of dozing off on the road because they often drive long, tedious hours alone. Because they operate under strict time deadlines, they may also push themselves to drive for longer than they should. When tractor-trailer drivers are overtired behind the wheel, they can cause accidents that lead to devastating injuries and even fatalities.
If you or a loved one was injured due to a fatigued truck driver accident in Alpharetta, a dedicated attorney could help you file a civil suit. Reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss the compensation that you may be entitled to.
Impact of Drowsiness on Truck Operators
Driving while overtired is extremely dangerous, especially when operating a large commercial vehicle. Fatigue can cause a driver to have a shorter attention span, slower reaction time, and flawed executive thinking or decision-making skills.
This can impair a trucker’s mental ability to prevent a collision when a potentially dangerous driving situation arises. For example, if a passenger sedan comes to a sudden stop in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a highway during rush hour, a tired truck driver may overlook the brake lights on the car in front of them and continue coasting along until they slam directly into the sedan, potentially causing a multiple vehicle pileup.
Unlike drunk driving, which a blood alcohol test can confirm, there is no exact way to detect a driver's level of fatigue. Because of this, it is essential to work with a skilled local law firm that has experience handling cases involving fatigued tractor-trailer driver accidents in Alpharetta. A seasoned legal team could thoroughly investigate details of the accident, including the driver's hourly log, police report, medical report, and traffic camera footage. After collecting information, a legal professional could identify any telltale signs of driver fatigue from eyewitnesses' accounts or other evidence from the site of the wreck.
Truck Operators Have a Higher Risk of Driver Fatigue
Because of their jobs' demanding nature, commercial truck drivers are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel than other motorists. The following reasons commonly contribute to the problem of trucker fatigue:
- Truckers frequently drive overnight when the human body is conditioned to be sleepy
- They often drive long hours on unfamiliar roads
- They tend to drive alone with nobody to talk to or break up the monotony
- They frequently perform physically demanding tasks before driving, such as loading and unloading heavy cargo
- Many truckers get paid by the miles or hours driven, which could push them to keep driving despite tiredness
Federal Commercial Driving Work Limits
Federal laws set strict service limits for drivers. Truckers may only drive for 11 hours straight after taking at least 10 hours off, and they face a daily limit of 14 hours on the road. Per week, commercial truckers may only drive up to 60 hours, or 70 hours in 8 days.
Additionally, the law requires truck drivers and their employers to maintain detailed logs of driving time. If a local attorney is able to show that a trucker exceeded their work hours and that their employer knew of this violation, that could be strong evidence of negligence on the part of the driver and their employer.
Contact an Alpharetta Attorney for Claims Involving Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents
If you sustained serious injuries in a fatigued truck driver accident in Alpharetta, you should reach out to a savvy attorney nearby as soon as possible. A strong legal advocate could discuss what options are available to you and help you decide what is in your best interests. Call to arrange a consultation today.