The risks of fatigue among commercial truck drivers are well-documented. If a truck driver is fatigued, they show many similar impairments as someone that is intoxicated. This includes reduced reaction time, lack of focus, poor decision making, and diminished judgment.
When the size of a commercial truck combines with a fatigued truck driver, crashes have the potential for devastating results. If you suffered an injury due to a fatigued tractor-trailer driver, an experienced truck accident attorney could help. By working closely with a Phoenix truck driver fatigue accident lawyer, you could hold the truck operator accountable and seek fair compensation for your injuries.
The hours of service rules limit the amount of time a truck driver may operate on the roads per day and week. These regulations are implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and apply nationwide. In Phoenix, if a truck driver violates these rules resulting in a crash caused by fatigue, an attorney could hold them liable for any injuries they caused.
A truck driver is limited to driving 11 hours in a single day. This 11-hour period must occur within a 14-hour window. This requires a set amount of downtime between each shift. Additionally, drivers may not drive for more than eight consecutive hours before taking a break.
A truck operator may not be on-duty for more than 60 hours during a week or 70 hours for eight days. This is known as the 60/7 and 70/8 duty limit. Any work activity, from planning a route to loading a truck, counts toward this limit.
When a trucker hits their seven or eight-day limit, they must take what is known as a “34-hour restart.” During the 34 hours after a shift, the truck operator must not work in any capacity.
While these regulations are designed with the health and safety of the truck operator in mind, they also play a role in truck accident lawsuits. If a driver violates the hours of service requirements, the violation could be evidence against them in a personal injury lawsuit.
There are multiple ways a Phoenix attorney could demonstrate at trial that the truck driver was fatigued. The most common piece of evidence is the driver’s logbook. Truckers are required to maintain logs of the movements to ensure they comply with hours of service requirements. Other evidence could include witness testimony, toll booth receipts, and even admissions by the truck operator.
If a fatigued driver behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer is responsible for your accident, you could have a legal claim against them. This claim could provide monetary compensation for your medical bills and car repair costs, among other things.
If you are ready to move forward with a lawsuit against the truck operator, a Phoenix truck driver fatigue accident lawyer could help. Schedule your free consultation today.