Dothan Attorneys Seek Compensation for Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue      

Alabama personal injury lawyers provide determined representation

If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, evidence that the driver was fatigued can help you prove liability and get you the compensation you deserve. At Carey & Hamner, P.C. in Dothan, our Alabama truck accident attorneys have extensive experience investigating commercial vehicle crashes. We understand how dangerous truck driver fatigue can be for the vehicles in their paths and pursue payment for victims of these crashes.

Potential problems associated with drowsy driving

According to one study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 13 percent of accident-involved commercial truck drivers were considered fatigued at the time of the crash. A commercial vehicle operator who didn’t get sufficient rest might have problems with:

  • Non-performance — In 12 percent of crashes, the driver either fell asleep, was disabled by a health emergency, or was physically impaired for another reason.
  • Recognition — In 28 percent of crashes, the driver was inattentive, distracted, or failed to observe the situation adequately.
  • Decision-making — In 38 percent of crashes, the driver made a poor decision in relation to traffic and/or road conditions.

Our Dothan truck accident attorneys scrupulously investigate the circumstances of all crashes to uncover evidence of impaired performance, whether due to fatigue or any other factor.

What causes driver fatigue?

There are many reasons for driver fatigue, which include:

  • Poor health, including insomnia and sleep apnea
  • Overwork, including strenuous activity outside of the vehicle
  • Personal habits, such as irregular hours
  • Medication which can cause drowsiness
  • Long hauls
  • Irregular work schedules

Federal regulations limit the hours a company can allow a driver to work, but many other factors are up to the discretion of the driver or their employer.

How does driving fatigue impact truck drivers?

The effects of fatigue can resemble those found in drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. Fatigue can cause drivers to:

  • Lose consciousness behind the wheel
  • Lose focus and make poor decisions
  • Misjudge vehicle speed
  • Lose control of the vehicle
  • React slowly to traffic and road conditions
  • Experience blurred or split vision

For all of these reasons, drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, the FMCSA reports that being awake for 18 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent, which is double the legal intoxication limit for a commercial vehicle driver.                   

What are signs of driving fatigue?

To avoid commercial truck accidents, drivers are trained to recognize signs of fatigue, such as:

  • Heavy eyelids and blurred vision
  • Wavering attention
  • Head nodding
  • Muscle cramping
  • Weaving within a lane, or crossing a lane marker
  • Unconscious changes in speed

Rather than relying on alertness tricks — guzzling caffeinated beverages, rolling down the window for a cool breeze or blaring music — drivers should avoid driving while the body is naturally drowsy. This frequently occurs between the hours of 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. When experiencing signs of drowsiness, they should leave the roadway and find a safe place to rest.      

Who Is responsible if a driver Is fatigued?            

A trucking company or another type of business that employs the driver can be held liable for his or her negligent performance while on duty. In many cases, evidence has shown that employer demands are the reason a fatigued driver was behind the wheel, even when regulations or better judgment called for a break.

Contact a dedicated Alabama truck accident lawyer for a free consultation

Carey & Hamner, P.C. in Dothan represents victims of commercial truck accidents caused by driver fatigue throughout Alabama. If a truck accident has left you with a serious injury, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. Call 855-435-4797 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.