Passenger vehicle drivers are unaware of the emotional or physical condition that drivers of the commercial vehicles they encounter on the road may be in. Many unfortunately are hurrying to meet strict deadlines, have worked extended hours, or have been subjected to strenuous activities, and are too mentally and physically exhausted to operate a commercial truck safely. In spite of federal regulations that have been put into place requiring truck drivers to get sufficient rest prior to operating an up to 80,000 pound vehicle, many fail to abide by such requirements, and risk their lives and the lives of others by getting on the road fatigued.
Truck driver fatigue is a preventable cause of thousands of commercial truck crashes nationwide each year. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an estimated 13 percent of large truck crashes have this issue at their root. Atlanta is a transportation hub that sees hundreds of truck drivers on the road at any given time. This includes many who are fatigued and fail to take the appropriate steps to ensure they are working under safe conditions.
The problem of truck driver fatigue is in many cases, also escalated by the efforts of some to force themselves to stay awake for extended hours with the use of caffeinated beverages, driving distractions such as loud music, or the use of drugs. These methods however, do not contribute to safer driving, and instead havethe reverse impact.
Truck driver fatigue often proves to be a critical factor in Atlanta truck crashes. Research suggests that sleep issues impact an estimated one in four truck drivers, whose sleep patterns may be disturbed for a variety of reasons. In addition, the same number has admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel at one point in the month prior to participating in the FMCSA survey, and more than half surveyed admitted to noticeably driving while drowsy.
If you have been injured in an Atlanta truck crash caused by the negligence of a commercial truck driver or the misaligned actions of the company they work for, the law is on your side for recovering any damages incurred as a result. In accordance with industry safety laws:
Commercial truck drivers in Atlanta and across the U.S. should not work more than 70 hours in a week
Truck drivers are required to take a mandatory resting period of 34 hours after reaching the weekly capacity
Truck drivers must include in their sleep schedule designated hours between one and five am at least twice in a week
Truck drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours in a 24-hour time frame, and a break of at least 30 minutes must be included in that time frame
Individuals who have been involved in an Atlanta 18 wheeler crash caused by truck driver fatigue can speak with an attorney at Witherite Law Groupto get information about next steps for moving forward with a claim against a driver or their employer for negligence.
Individuals with questions about getting legal help for an Atlanta truck accident can call 1-800-Truck-Wreck® to speak with someone directly today, because life doesn’t stop after a truck wreck.