A semitruck crash that is the result of a fatigued trucker is one that could have easily been prevented. The problem is that many trucking companies promise customers deadlines that don’t leave room for unforeseen circumstances.
When truckers don’t have ample time to rest and can’t take a break when they feel the need, there is a chance that the trucker will become so tired that he or she dozes off at the wheel. This puts other motorists in grave danger.
The Hours of Service regulations dictate how long truckers can drive before they have to take a break. These regulations are divided up for drivers who carry cargo and drivers who carry passengers. Truckers who haul cargo can drive up to 11 hours per shift. Truckers who are driving passenger vehicles are limited to 10 hours per shift. If the trucker has other duties, there is a limit to how long each shift can be. However, the number of hours they can drive remains the same. There are also limits to how much truckers can drive on a rolling seven or eight day period.
Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing that can lead to trucker fatigue. Other factors, including medical conditions, highway hypnosis and working when they would normally sleep can all lead to fatigue while driving. Truckers who have a hot and stuffy cab in the truck, those who are driving on familiar roads, and those who are under any type of stress might also feel fatigued when they drive. No matter what the cause of the fatigue, the effects of a truck crash can devastate innocent lives.
Truckers who are fatigued might doze off while they drive. In some cases, they might sort of zone out to the point where they aren’t paying any attention to the way they are driving. Drivers who are near a fatigued trucker might notice the semitruck drifting between lanes, driving in an erratic manner or tailgating other vehicles on the road. They might not even remember to turn a signal off once they turn or change lanes.
For innocent motorists who are struck by a fatigued trucker, the nightmare is just starting. Trips to doctors, working in therapy, and taking the time you need to heal can be difficult and time-consuming. You might not be able to return to work for a while so that you can give your body a chance to heal. All of this can lead to troubling financial situations. You might opt to seek compensation to help you reduce the financial strain.