According to a report compiled by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “approximately 328,000 police-reported crashes each year, including 109,000 that result in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes, involve a drowsy driver.” Another study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, where the behavior of drivers was observed just prior to a crash with limited or no interference with those being watched, found signs of fatigue that included eyelids closing, facial changes, and heads bobbing. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of driver fatigue, contact an experienced Charleston driver fatigue attorney right away.
Truck Driver Fatigue
While professional truck drivers undergo rigorous testing and, consequently, are very skilled, the fact of the matter is that no level of skill can overcome fatigue and exhaustion. Driver fatigue is such a concern that the law requires professional truck drivers and other commercial vehicle drivers to comply with certain hours of service limits imposed by the federal government. These include:
- A maximum of 11 driving hours, following 10 consecutive hours off-duty rest;
- A maximum of 14 driving hours and/or working after starting a shift; and
- A maximum of 60 driving hours in an 7-day period or 70 hours in 8 days.
Beyond the real danger of truck drivers falling asleep because of too many hours of consecutive driving is another major concern: that fatigue manifests other symptoms that increase the risk of accidents, including decreased alertness and slower reaction times. Unfortunately, these time limitations aren’t always followed because of pressures including the fact that the more miles a truck driver puts into the drive the larger the paycheck and their employer’s urges to speed or exceed hours to meet deadlines.
In addition to the hour limitations, truck drivers are required maintain a logbook of trips. These are sometimes falsified to fall within the federal regulation. Falsification may be proven by an aggressive attorney through obtaining satellite records, phone records, gas receipts, and the truck’s “black box,” for example.
Charleston Driver Fatigue Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of another’s negligence, retaining an experienced and aggressive Charleston driver fatigue attorney is important no matter the reasons or factors behind the incident. The attorneys at Pierce, Herns, Sloan & Wilson, LLC represent clients aggressively, knowing what to look for and which experts to consult in order to fight hard against insurance carriers.