Boston Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer

Driver fatigue has long been a major factor in serious Boston truck accidents. The occupation of long-haul trucking requires many continuous hours of tedious driving combined with near-constant pressure to make deliveries on time. Despite strict federal regulations governing the hours truckers can drive, truck driver fatigue may likely remain a cause of many serious roadway accidents.

You may wish to contact a Boston truck driver fatigue accident lawyer if either you or a loved one has been hurt in such a crash. A skilled truck collision attorney can potentially help determine who was at fault in causing the accident and pursue compensation on your behalf.

Federal Truck Driver Regulations

The American trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency whose main mission is to reduce serious accidents involving large trucks and busses. In response to the growing number of fatigue-related truck accidents, the FMCSA recently revised its rules pertaining to the working hours of anyone operating a commercial vehicle on the nation’s roads.

The following is a brief look at some of the “hours of service” rules applicable to truck drivers in the United States:

  • Truck drivers shall not drive more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
  • They cannot work more than 60 hours in a seven-day period or more than 70 hours in an eight-day period
  • Every truck driver must have at least eight hours of consecutive rest in a sleeping berth per day, plus two additional hours either in the berth or off duty
  • A driving shift may commence only after at least 10 hours being spent resting off duty

Most operators of commercial vehicles must keep track of their time using either a logbook or an electronic logging device (ELD) – a piece of hardware attached to the engine that measures miles driven, the amount of the time the engine is running, and other key data. A truck driver fatigue accident lawyer in Boston could work to obtain a logbook or ELD records for the purpose of determining whether an accident involved one or more violations, helping to establish liability.

Negative Effects of Driving a Truck While Fatigued

Sleep deprivation negatively affects just about everyone at one time or another. Yet, a lack of sleep can quickly turn from a minor annoyance to a significant danger when the sleep-deprived individual gets behind the wheel of a semi-truck or other large vehicle. Getting too little sleep can limit a wide range of both physical and mental functions, such as:

  • Mood and motivation
  • Alertness
  • Natural sleeping patterns

Mood & Motivation

One of the first signs that a truck driver has not had an adequate amount of sleep is a deterioration in their mood and motivation. They can become irritable, short-tempered, and more vulnerable to stressful situations.

Alertness

Being sleepy behind the wheel of a large truck filled with cargo is an extremely dangerous scenario as it can significantly lengthen the driver’s reaction time to what is happening on the road. Studies have shown that even minor sleep deprivation can reduce one’s reaction time on par with alcohol intoxication.

Natural Sleeping Patterns

Trucks drivers generally do not work an eight-hour shift during the day. Routinely working through the night can, for example, disrupt a truck driver’s normal sleeping patterns and inhibit the quality of any sleep they do get. For help with recovering compensation following a collision with a fatigued truck driver, reach out to a seasoned lawyer.

Contact a Boston Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney

Any serious injuries that can be linked to truck driver fatigue are likely compensable under state law. Contact a Boston truck driver fatigue accident lawyer for information about whether you might qualify for damages in the wake of a crash. Compensation can be sought from the driver, the driver’s employer, or possibly one or more insurance companies. To get started on a case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.