New Braunfels Truck Driver Fatigue Attorney
Fighting For The Rights Of Injured Victims In Comal, Hays And Guadalupe Counties
Big-rig drivers often work long hours and travel hundreds of miles each day. When they choose to stay on the road despite exhaustion, they and their massive vehicles become a danger to other drivers. In fact, hundreds of people are injured or killed in Texas truck wrecks each year. Victims and their families deserve to be compensated for the negligence of truck drivers or the companies that employ them. The Bettersworth Law Firm can help.
Fatigued Drivers Cause Many Truck Wrecks
Despite regulations enacted to combat it, truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that results in many 18-wheeler accidents on Interstate 10 and Interstate 35 each year – as well as across the nation. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has determined that over 20,000 people are injured – and 750 lose their lives – in accidents caused by truck driver fatigue annually.
This does not even count many additional truck collisions that result from other causes such as improperly loaded vehicles or DWI. Regardless of the reason for the truck crash, victims of 18-wheeler accidents are entitled to compensation for their losses.
Fraudulent Records and Unreasonable Pressure
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) requires truck drivers to maintain logbooks documenting the time they spent working and when they took the rest periods that are required by law. Unfortunately, some truck drivers find ways to circumvent this system by keeping multiple logbooks or through otherwise fraudulent actions.
Trucking companies can also play a part in the problem. Some hold their drivers to unreasonable standards in regards to travel time and look the other way when logbooks and rest periods aren’t handled according to federal and Texas law.
Do Sleep Disorders Contribute To Driver Fatigue?
One of the most significant sources of fatigue is undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea. People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times throughout the night, then take a series of “rescue breaths” before the process starts again. A person with OSA can wake up feeling like they never went to sleep at all.
Sleep apnea can be brought on by a sedentary lifestyle and obesity, both of which are common in truck drivers. Statistics show that obstructive sleep apnea afflicts truck drivers at far higher rates than the general public.
What Are Other Common Sources Of Truck Driver Fatigue?
As mentioned earlier, the most obvious source of fatigue is simply spending too many consecutive hours behind the wheel. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented hours-of-service rules limiting consecutive driving hours and mandating rest periods.
Other sources of fatigue include:
- Driving at all times of day or night with no consistent sleep schedule
- The unchanging view of the road, leading to what’s known as “highway hypnosis”
- Over-reliance on caffeine and other stimulants leading to less restful sleep
- Prioritizing entertainment or socialization, taking away available time for sleep
Whatever the cause, truck drivers and their employers are liable when fatigue results in a serious truck wreck.
Offering Aggressive Representation For Truck Wreck Victims
When driver fatigue causes a truck crash that injures or kills another person, that person (or the family members of the deceased) are entitled to monetary damages from the responsible party or parties. This includes money for both current and future medical bills and lost earnings, as well as pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages can also be awarded to a truck accident victim.
The Bettersworth Law Firm offers aggressive yet compassionate representation to victims of Texas semitruck wrecks. Contact us at 830-443-9193 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney at our New Braunfels office.