Fatigued Truck Drivers in Victorville Accidents

Operating any vehicle while fatigued is gravely dangerous. Even when the driver does not actually fall asleep at the wheel, driving without sufficient rest can lead to decreased reaction times, blurry vision, and wandering attention—all of which make wrecks much more likely.

Fatigued driving can be especially common in drivers of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. Even when a driver is not fatigued when they start driving, they may become fatigued if they drive for too long, and semi-truck operators frequently drive long shifts. Unfortunately, trucking companies make more money the more goods they ship, and drivers make more money the more miles they drive. Therefore, the incentive can be for both trucking companies and their drivers to have their trucks on the road for longer than is safe.

When you or a loved one has been hurt by a fatigued truck driver in a Victorville accident, a seasoned attorney could assist you in obtaining a fair settlement or award that may help you recover from the financial impact of your injuries.

How To Prove Fatigued Driving

Although it is all too common, fatigued driving can be more difficult to prove than more obvious causes of wrecks, such as speeding or drunk driving. However, there is still evidence a Victorville attorney who has experience handling fatigued truck driver accidents can use to show that the 18-wheeler driver’s drowsiness caused the wreck.

Such evidence can include the trucker’s behavior before and after the accident, such as yawning, nodding off, or trouble remembering events leading up to the accident. Relevant proof can also come from how the driver was operating the 18-wheeler before the crash, such as driving significantly below the speed limit, veering in and out of lanes, consistently driving over rumble strips, or missing an intended exit. A lawyer can uncover this evidence and more through detailed interviews with both the truck driver and any witnesses to the accident, working with accident reconstruction experts, or obtaining any footage that captured the wreck or the events leading up to it.

Driving Limits for Commercial Carriers

In addition to evidence that the truck driver was actually fatigued, the federal government has enacted laws that limit the amount of time truckers can spend behind the wheel. When a truck operator breaks these rules, a Victorville lawyer who specializes in trucking wrecks may be able to use the violation to prove that the trucker was likely to be fatigued and, therefore, caused the accident.

For example, 49 Code of Federal Regulations § 395.3(a) states a truck driver cannot be on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours, and, during that 14-hour period, the driver cannot be driving for more than 11 hours. After the driver has been on duty for 14 consecutive hours, they must go off duty for a period of at least 10 consecutive hours. Additionally, 49 CFR §395.3(b) provides that, cumulatively, a driver cannot work for more than 60 hours over any seven consecutive days or 70 hours over any eight consecutive days. These rules apply to the driver and the trucking company—the truck driver cannot drive over these limits, and the trucking company cannot force or require their drivers to exceed these limits.

Finally, 49 CFR §395.8 requires truck drivers to log the hours they have driven and any breaks they take. Generally, the trucks are required to be equipped with devices that will record this information electronically, making it easier to show if a driver violated these rules.

Contact a Victorville Attorney Experienced in Wrecks Involving Fatigued Semi-Truck Drivers

Accidents involving a commercial vehicle can be disruptive to your life far beyond the physical injuries. Working with an attorney that you trust and who cares about your recovery and well-being could make all the difference. We could help you track your expenses and insurance claims, suggest and put you in contact with medical specialists, and work to help you achieve your goals for recovery. Reach out to a lawyer to discuss a case that involves fatigued truck drivers in Victorville accidents.

Walter Clark Legal Group

Walter Clark Legal Group