Arlington Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
Truck drivers oftentimes spend long days on the road, carrying cargo from one location to another. The countless hours that they drive could create fatigue that results in severe and deadly crashes.
If you were injured due to a truck driver’s weary driving, contacting an Arlington truck driver fatigue accident lawyer could be beneficial to your case. You do not need to fight the ramifications of an accident alone, a caring local attorney is here to help.
Regulations for Drowsy Employees in Trucking Companies
Because drowsy driving is a major cause of semi-truck crashes every year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted a number of rules for truck drivers to follow to reduce the number of hours they spend behind the wheel. These rules include:
- Mandated rest breaks during and between shifts
- Prohibition from driving more than 11 hours in one day
- Take at least a 130-minute break from driving within the first eight hours of the shift
- A weekly maximum of 70 hours total they are allowed to work
- After the work week is completed, the driver must rest for at least 34 hours before starting a new work week—including at least two periods of sleep at night between the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am
Drivers must also keep their hours logged while working. In the past, they used paper logbooks, but nowadays, most of the logbooks have transitioned to being digital. The logbooks track the hours worked and when truckers are supposed to rest. An Arlington lawyer could review a truck driver’s logbook to determine if they were fatigued at the time of the wreck.
How to Avoid Trucker Exhaustion
The best way to avoid driving while fatigued is to get enough sleep. Studies have shown that most adults need at least seven hours of sleep a day. Truck drivers should try to maintain good sleeping habits and stick to a sleeping schedule to avoid fatal truck accidents. If they have a sleep disorder, it could be beneficial to talk to a doctor about potential treatment options. Avoiding alcohol or medications that may make them sleepy may also be a way for truck drivers to avoid this.
What Happens if the Wreck Does Not Occur Within the Truck Driver’s Scope of Employment?
It could be difficult to determine what falls within the scope of employment, and many variables come into play. These variables could include the:
- Intent of the employee at the time of the accident
- Nature, time, and place of the employee’s conduct
- Type of work the employee was hired to do
- Incidental acts the employer should reasonably expect the employee to do
- Amount of freedom allowed to the employee in performing their duties
- Amount of time consumed in the personal activity
If a truck driver rear-ends a car while making a delivery, the employer would most likely be vicariously liable for any harm that results because the driver was acting within the scope of employment.
However, if the truck driver leaves work early and hits another car on their way home, an argument could be made that the company should not be liable for the driver’s negligence because they were acting outside the scope of employment. A local attorney could investigate whether the fatigued truck driver was within the scope of their employment at the time of the collision.
What if the Truck Company is Found Responsible for a Collision?
A driver’s failure to meet their legal responsibilities could give rise to a claim for negligence and compensatory damages. If there is evidence that these responsibilities were violated in a willful and wanton manner, then there is potential claim for punitive damages as well.
Truck drivers are required to have knowledge and comply with all regulations that their employers or state uphold, including those to avoid fatigued driving. The motor carrier and the driver have an enormous responsibility to ensure that they are being responsible. These are ultimately the driver’s responsibilities, but the company is also responsible for their employees.
Contact an Arlington Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Attorney Today
Trucking companies and their employees have a duty to follow the state and federal regulations to avoid driving while fatigued. However, drivers may overwork themselves or not get enough sleep, leading to dangerous and fatal crashes.
If you were injured due to driver exhaustion, contacting an Arlington fatigued trick driver accident lawyer may be your best option. Call our caring legal team today to learn about your options.