Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents in VA Eastern Shore
Truck drivers must be awake and attentive when operating their vehicles to avoid causing a collision. A crash involving a semi or tractor-trailer can lead to devastating injuries, especially on major roads like Lankford Highway. Given the dangers of driving while tired, lawmakers have put regulations in place to prevent truckers from working excessive hours.
Despite these laws, some employers pressure their truck drivers into taking long shifts or skipping mandated breaks to meet certain quotas. If you were injured in a fatigued truck driver accident on the VA Eastern Shore, speak with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve in your case.
The Effects of Driving While Tired
Fatigue can significantly impair your ability to safely operate a car. Consequently, operating a truck while tired is even more dangerous. Some of the common effects of fatigued driving include:
- Short-term memory lapses
- Behavioral changes like aggression
- Decreased reaction time
- Impaired vision
- Impaired judgment concerning distances, speed, and exits
A truck driver dealing with fatigue and its related effects is very likely to cause an accident.
Federal Driving Hour Limits
Trucking companies are expected to limit their employees’ driving hours to prevent fatigued driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) dictates how many hours a driver may work in a day or week.
Rest Break Requirements
Commercial truck drivers cannot drive more than eight cumulative hours without an off-duty or sleep-break of 30 minutes. This time limit might not apply to short-haul truckers.
11-Hour and 14-Hour Time Limits
According to the FMCA, truckers can drive no more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Additionally, truck drivers cannot drive past the fourteenth consecutive hour after coming on duty.
60/70 Hour-Time Limit
Tractor-trailer operators are not permitted to drive more than 60 or 70 hours in seven or eight days, respectively. The period of seven or eight days restarts after the trucker has had 34 or more consecutive hours away from driving.
These regulations are meant to protect tractor-trailer operators and everyone else on the road. Unfortunately, drivers or their employers may ignore these laws to save time and money. When this happens, the risk of a fatigued truck driver wreck increases.
Holding Employers Responsible for Accidents on the VA Eastern Shore
Driving a big rig while fatigued can lead to a severe collision. Though the trucker may be the primarily liable party, employers are responsible for their employee’s negligent actions. This legal concept is known as vicarious liability.
Alternatively, an employer may be directly responsible for your accident if they force a driver to exceed the maximum driving hours. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether any federal laws have been broken.
Consult a Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Attorney in VA Eastern Shore
If you were struck by a fatigued tractor-trailer driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. With the right legal team at your side, you can hold the at-fault parties responsible for your losses. After a fatigued truck driver accident in VA Eastern Shore, contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers to schedule a free legal consultation.