Truck Driver Fatigue
Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Helping Residents of Little Rock
A fatigued truck driver may experience delayed reaction time, as well as intermittent periods of falling asleep and being unable to focus. These symptoms, combined with the massive size of a truck, may lead to severe or even fatal accidents. Even though laws and regulations are in place to limit drivers’ traveling hours, strict deadlines, company policies, and other incentives pressure drivers to stay on the road longer than they should. Little Rock truck accident attorney Paul Pfeifer at the Pfeifer Law Firm helps people injured in crashes caused by fatigued truck drivers seek the full scope of their damages from liable parties.
Trucking Industry Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, finding that driver fatigue has contributed to a significant number of big rig collisions. Additional studies by multiple administrative agencies have indicated that fatigue has been a factor in over 50 percent of tractor-trailer accidents. The FMCSA also sets federal regulations that interstate truck drivers must follow regarding the number of hours that they are allowed to stay on the road, and it requires drivers to keep accurate log books of their driving activities. These rules also call for mandatory breaks at certain points so that drivers have the opportunity to rest and be alert on the road. Arkansas has adopted similar rules for drivers who operate trucks within the state. When truck drivers fail to adhere to these rules, they may become fatigued, leading to a much higher likelihood of a crash.
Accountability for Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
When a truck driver gets behind the wheel while overly fatigued, perhaps after violating a regulation governing hours of service or another safety rule, they may be held accountable for any injuries that result. In some instances, fatigued drivers may be deemed “negligent per se,” which means negligent as a matter of law. This legal theory applies in situations in which the violation of a safety regulation shows negligence, and the injury and the victim were the type of injury and the type of victim that were envisioned by the regulation. For instance, hours of service requirements are enacted to protect all motorists from truck drivers who are too tired to properly operate a vehicle after too much time on the road. When log books or other evidence indicate that a driver failed to adhere to those rules and spent too many hours driving before swerving into another car, they may be found negligent per se.
Moreover, log books or other evidence may be deliberately falsified, incomplete, or otherwise inaccurate. Consulting a knowledgeable Arkansas truck accident attorney who can investigate and discover the cause of a crash, as well as identify all of the responsible parties, is important to ensuring that your claim is properly pursued.
Explore Your Options with a Truck Accident Attorney in Little Rock
If you or a loved one has been injured by a fatigued truck driver, Little Rock truck accident lawyer Paul Pfeifer at the Pfeifer Law Firm can help you deal with the aftermath. From the early stages of the investigation to communications with a trucking company and insurers, Mr. Pfeifer assists victims and their families in all aspects of a case. Our firm also represents people in Jonesboro, West Memphis, Conway, Hot Springs, Malvern, Batesville, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Benton, Bryant, Fort Smith, Forrest City, Fayetteville, and Hamburg, as well as other communities in Saline, Pulaski, Miller, Crittenden, Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Hot Spring, Independence, Jefferson, Sebastian, Washington, Ashley, and Baxter Counties. You can contact us online or call (501) 374-4440 to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney and find out more about your legal rights.