November 18, 2018

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Unrealistic Schedules and Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers who can get cargo where it needs to go efficiently are great for a company’s bottom line, but what happens when safety is overlooked in the name of productivity?

Some trucking companies still offer drivers bonuses for quick transport, a practice that encourages fatigued driving and, ultimately, greatly increases the odds of crashing. Despite the many rules and regulations set forth to promote safe driving, a lot of drivers continue to push themselves to meet tight schedules and maximize their income, putting other vehicles and themselves at risk.

Fatigued Driving is Illegal

Federal trucking regulations are very specific in their language regarding driver schedules, referred to as “Hours of Service” standards. Essentially, the statutes limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate a rig. They also mandate when breaks must be integrated and how much time must be taken off. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s maximum drive time regulations for property-carrying vehicles state that a truck driver:

  • Must first take 10 consecutive hours off duty before beginning a trip
  • Is limited to driving 14 consecutive hours
  • May only drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period

Truck drivers must abide by the Hours of Service regulations and record their activity, otherwise the carrier company and the driver may be fined or fired for noncompliance.

Finding Evidence of Fatigue

Perhaps a dispatcher insisted a driver push on despite being tired or fatigued, resulting in a serious truck accident. In some cases, drivers have reported carriers retaliating against them when they refused to keep moving, with “punishments” like withheld income or failure to rehire. Legal teams can pull from a variety of resources to uncover evidence of fatigue, such as driver log inconsistencies, fueling logs, mileage logs, construction and roadway information, and interviews with trucking company employees.

The truck accident law firms listed in this directory are experienced truck accident litigators who are intimately acquainted with state and federal truck laws. They understand the complexity of truck accident fatalities and severe injury cases and can use their special knowledge to seek fair compensation for your family.

When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you can trust your legal team to gather the facts of your accident with urgency and to study the many facets of the event until the truth is discovered.

If you or a member of your family has been seriously hurt by a truck driver, please click here to find a truck accident law firm in your area.