Driver fatigue is the leading cause of commercial truck accidents. When a truck driver operates their vehicle while tired, the crashes that follow are typically severe and result in catastrophic injuries. Fatigue can stem from lack of sleep, long work hours, physical or mental exertion, or strenuous activities.
Unfortunately, the biggest contributing factor is truckers ignoring the rules that are set in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding time off from work and keeping a logbook. If you sustained harm because of a fatigued truck driver in a Melbourne accident, a dedicated truck crash attorney can help you pursue compensation for your losses. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.
There are many dangers associated with driving while fatigued—the most obvious of these risks is the probability of falling asleep behind the wheel. However, even when a trucker does not doze off, drowsiness alone is enough to cause serious impairment of the ability to safely operate a vehicle. In some studies, people who are severely sleep-deprived show mental impairment that is equivalent to being intoxicated.
Fatigue affects perception-reaction time, which refers to how quickly a truck driver will perceive a hazard ahead of them and react to avoid it. Not only is this reaction time impacted, but drowsiness can also affect what actions they take. A fatigued driver might not react in the way that they are trained to – which is to employ safe evasion techniques – and cause a crash on Melbourne roads.
Logging one’s hours of service is required for all long-haul CDL drivers. At a minimum, commercial truckers are required to take a 30-minute rest every 8 hours and to log all of their activity during a 24-hour timeframe. They can work up to 14 hours at a time, but no more than 11 hours of that time can be behind the wheel. The other 10 hours must be off-duty.
Additionally, truck drivers can only work up to 60 hours over the course of seven days or 70 hours spread over eight days. The logging requirement is meant to ensure that these rules are followed and to help prevent fatigued truck drivers in Melbourne and across the U.S. from being on the road and causing an accident.
Our attorneys have many years of prior experience representing insurance companies and other large corporations. Because of this past inside knowledge, we can better defend injured parties against the common tactics a trucking company might use to deflect blame or avoid responsibility. We are not afraid to advocate fiercely for the needs of our clients both in and out of court.
Fatigued truck drivers in Melbourne accidents should be held accountable for the damage they cause. Many people shy away from taking legal action after a wreck because they are afraid of incurring additional financial strain. However, our firm does not charge any upfront fees and only collects payment if we are successful in winning you compensation.
If you were hurt in one of these collisions, reach out to Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law for help pursuing your options.