Signs of Truck Driver Fatigue - Front Range Injury Attorneys – Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Signs of Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck driver fatigue poses a serious threat on the roads, leading to preventable accidents that claim numerous lives in the United States each year. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,862 trucks were involved in fatal traffic collisions in 2018 alone. Fatigue, characterized by extreme tiredness and exhaustion, significantly impairs a driver’s ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely. If you have been involved in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue, you may be entitled to compensation from the trucking company responsible.

If you sustained injuries in an accident in Colorado, contact the personal injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced legal team are knowledgeable and zealous advocates for our clients and their cases. We treat our clients as people, not case files. Learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm to learn more.

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Causes of Driver Fatigue

  1. Hours of Service Regulations: Fatigue often occurs when truck drivers surpass the designated hours of service regulations. The FMCSA has implemented these regulations to enhance the safety of long-haul trucking. Violating these regulations by driving more than 11 hours after a mandatory 10-hour break or exceeding 14 consecutive hours of driving in a day can lead to fatigue-related accidents. Additionally, drivers must take sufficient breaks after a specified number of hours on the road. Failure to follow trucking regulations can lead to fatigued and dangerous drivers.
  2. Nature of the Job: The demanding nature of truck driving increases the risk of fatigue. Spending long hours alone on the road can contribute to drowsiness. Some drivers resort to stimulants like coffee, energy drinks, or drugs to stay awake, but these temporary fixes often result in a dangerous energy crash later on. Furthermore, irregular sleep schedules, obesity, poor health habits, and smoking can make truck drivers susceptible to sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, further amplifying fatigue.

What to Do If Fatigue Is Suspected as the Cause of a Truck Accident

In the event of a truck accident where fatigue is suspected as the cause, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and ensure a thorough investigation. Follow these steps:

  1. Contact the Police: Notify the police about the accident.
  2. Remain at the Scene: Stay at the accident scene until instructed otherwise.
  3. Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid admitting fault or making any statements that could be used against you.
  4. Gather Evidence: Speak to eyewitnesses and collect their contact information. Capture photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries.
  5. Obtain Truck Details: Note down the truck’s identification number and gather the driver’s information, including their name and contact details.
  6. Seek Medical Attention: Visit a hospital or seek medical assistance promptly, even if you initially feel fine. Keep copies of all medical records and accident reports for future reference. You may not realize immediately the extent of truck accident injuries which may become painful or develop symptoms within days after the accident.
  7. File an Insurance Claim: File an initial insurance claim with the truck driver’s insurer, detailing the accident and your injuries.
  8. Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer: Contact a reputable truck accident lawyer in Denver who can provide expert guidance and assistance with your claims process. An experienced attorney specializing in truck accidents will conduct a thorough investigation and gather essential evidence, such as data from the truck’s black box or electronic logging device, to support your case against the driver or the trucking company.

Determining Responsibility for Fatigue-Related Accidents

In Colorado, a fault-based car accident state, identifying the at-fault party is essential for recovering compensation. While it may appear that the truck driver is solely responsible for an accident caused by fatigue, the principle of vicarious liability comes into play. This means that the truck driver’s employer can be held liable for the damages suffered. Trucking companies have a responsibility to train their drivers properly, including ensuring compliance with the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations. Encouraging drivers to exceed the allowed driving hours to meet deadlines or performance goals is considered negligence, making the trucking company liable for related accidents. Moreover, the company can be held vicariously liable for the actions of its drivers, including instances where a driver operates the vehicle while fatigued.

To determine or prove fault for an accident resulting from truck driver fatigue in Denver, seek assistance from a local injury lawyer who specializes in these cases. They possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to navigate the legal complexities and advocate for your rights.

Conclusion

Truck driver fatigue remains a significant contributor to catastrophic and fatal trucking accidents in the US. Recognizing the signs of fatigue and taking appropriate actions, such as contacting the authorities, preserving evidence, and seeking legal representation, can help protect your rights and ensure a thorough investigation into the accident. By holding trucking companies accountable for their negligence and disregard for safety regulations, victims of accidents caused by truck driver fatigue can pursue the compensation they deserve.

If you’ve been injured in a truck collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our accident attorneys are experienced advocates for injury victims. We have helped clients recover fair compensation from trucking companies due to fatigued, distracted and negligent truck drivers. Contact our law office today to speak with an attorney at no cost and no obligation.

Colorado Truck Accident Attorney

If you sustained injuries in a trucking collision caused by a negligent truck driver, you are entitled to recover compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our experienced Colorado truck accident lawyers are zealous advocates for accident victims. At Front Range Injury Attorneys we represent clients across Colorado in semi-truck, 18-wheeler, big rig and delivery truck crashes including:

Contact Front Range Injury Attorneys for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you. You can speak with our experienced lawyers at no cost and no obligation to learn more about your legal rights.

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