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Truck driver fatigue and accidents

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Truck drivers in Virginia and across the United States work hard. They often have long hours and tight schedules that they have to maintain. Despite regulations put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck accidents still occur. Truck driver fatigue is one of the main reasons why truck accidents occur.

There are many regulations that truck drivers are required to comply with to increase truck safety for everyone on the road. These regulations include:

  • Truck drivers may not drive more than 11 consecutive hours after 10 hours off duty.
  • After 10 consecutive hours off-duty drivers have 14 hours in which to comply otherwise they must take another 10 consecutive hours off.
  • They must take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of driving.
  • They must take 34 hours off after driver either 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.

Even though truck driver hours are regulated, truck driver fatigue still continues to be a problem. We don’t know how many hours of sleep a truck driver is actually getting and whether they are receiving quality sleep. Drivers should be aware of spotting drowsy drivers on the road and watch for the following signs:

  • Swerving
  • Drifting between lanes
  • Excessive tailgating
  • Braking excessively

A truck accident often causes serious injuries. Because of the difference in size and weight of a truck and other vehicles on the road, even a minor fender bender can be a big deal. If a family has had a loved one involved in a truck accident, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in personal injury. An attorney can visit the accident scene and interview witnesses and review the police report in order to find out what happened. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.