Fatigued driving is one of the main causes of tractor-trailer crashes. Federal trucking regulations limit the number of hours a driver can be on the road consecutively because this danger is so great. Even drivers who make short trips can experience fatigue, so it is no surprise that truckers who travel much more than that in a single day are subject to more serious levels of impairment. Commercial trucking companies and their drivers must take great precautions to ensure their operators are adequately rested.
Fatigued truck drivers in Cordova accidents can be held liable for the damages they cause injured motorists. When you experience injuries and losses in a collision with a large commercial vehicle, let the trusted truck accident attorneys at the Law Office of David E. Gordon help you seek what you need to get back on your feet.
How Fatigue Causes Truck Crashes
There are a number of pressures on the drivers of tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks that lead to fatigue. Most of these drivers are paid by the mile, so traveling the greatest distance results in the greatest pay. There is also pressure to pick up and deliver loads at specific times with a short turnaround in between. These factors sometimes require drivers to operate their vehicles when they should be resting.
A fatigued driver can cause tremendous harm when they do not realize soon enough that traffic ahead of them has slowed. Trailers need a great distance to stop, and if the driver is not paying full attention, the resulting rear-end crash can be catastrophic.
Similarly, a fatigued driver in Cordova or elsewhere in the state can leave their lane and collide head-on with an oncoming motorist or sideswipe a motorist knocking that other vehicle off the roadway and into a ditch beside the road.
Truckers Must Keep Accurate Driving Logs
Federal regulations prohibit a trucking company from allowing its driver to operate a commercial vehicle while the driver’s ability or alertness is impaired by fatigue. These regulations also prescribe a maximum number of hours a driver can be on duty during any day or week and require a driver to maintain a log of their work status. This means the drivers are required to keep a record that indicates whether they are resting or whether they are driving.
Most of these carriers have electronic logs that identify the city, town, or place where any change of status occurs. The log must identify the total miles driven daily and the total hours on duty. The electronic record must be retrievable through the computer system in the tractor-trailer. If the driver uses a handwritten log, the driver must complete all entries legibly and in their own handwriting. This requirement for keeping daily logs does not apply to drivers who operate within a 100-mile radius of the normal work reporting location.
The carrier or the driver’s employer has a duty to monitor those driver logs to ensure compliance with the maximum hours regulations.
Regulations on Driving Hours
A driver carrying property cannot drive more than 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Additionally, a driver cannot operate a commercial vehicle for any period after being on duty for 14 hours following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Some other regulations limit the hours a driver can operate a vehicle if they have been on duty 60 hours in any seven consecutive days. A driver with a sleeper berth in his vehicle must have at least 10 consecutive hours either in his sleeper berth or off-duty or some combination of the two before beginning to drive. Our team can investigate whether a trucker was in compliance with log and hour regulations if they cause an accident in Cordova due to fatigue.
Work With Our Team After a Fatigued Driver Causes a Truck Accident in Cordova
When you or your loved one experience injuries and damages because of a fatigued truck driver in a Cordova accident, let our skilled attorneys help you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Call the Law Office of David E. Gordon today to begin reviewing the details of your case.