Atlanta Drowsy/Fatigued Truck Accident Lawyers
Hours of Service Violations
Drivers who get involved in a collision with a semi-truck tractor-trailer can suffer some of the most severe injuries; truck crashes in Atlanta can potentially cause catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death to the unfortunate accident victims.
Drowsy or fatigued driving is one of the leading causes of accidents involving 18-wheelers in Atlanta. Interstate commercial freight haulers spend a punishing number of hours behind the wheel, often beyond what is safe for the trucker and other drivers on the road.
When truck drivers don’t get the rest they should but instead stay on the road and keep driving, they can and should be held responsible for the accidents they cause by their drowsy driving or nodding off at the wheel. The Atlanta drowsy/fatigued truck accident lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell have the experience, expertise and drive that are needed to take on nationwide freight carriers and hold them accountable to the people they have harmed. Call our office for a free consultation if you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a metro Atlanta truck accident.
Federal Safety Laws Limit the Hours of Service for Commercial Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates all aspects of the trucking industry, including size and weight limits for tractor-trailers, the required angle for mounting mud flaps, tire tread depth, and just about everything else imaginable. When it comes to the truck drivers themselves, FMCSA regulates how long truckers can be on duty at a stretch and how much of their duty time can be spent behind the wheel before they are required to take a break or more significant time off. These hours of service regulations are meant to keep truckers alert and prevent them from driving when they are drowsy, fatigued, or even at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
Even though these regulations are meant to ensure safety for truckers and others they share the road with, the trucking industry lobby has a great deal of influence on how regulations get written, and the limitations on a trucker’s hours of service are not nearly as strict as you might hope they would be. Following are some key aspects of the FMCSA hours of service regulations for semi-truck drivers:
- Truckers can spend up to 14 hours on duty in a 24-hour period (14 hours on and ten hours off)
- Truckers can spend up to 11 hours of their workday driving
- Truckers can drive for eight hours straight before having to take a 30-minute break
- Truckers can work for 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight consecutive days. After reaching that limit, they have to take 34 hours off (less than a day and a half) before starting a new seven or eight-day “week.”
- If drivers encounter “adverse driving conditions,” they can lawfully work for 16 hours instead of 14 and drive for 13 hours instead of 11 in a 24-hour period.
Despite these liberal restrictions, 18-wheeler truck drivers are notorious for breaking the rules and driving longer than the law allows. When trucking logs are inspected, the inspectors find that the truckers drive more hours than is lawful, and some even intentionally falsify their driving records to hide the fact they are violating the hours of service regulations.
Truckers drive longer than they should because they are pressured to meet strict deadlines and deliver their cargo to its destination as soon as possible. This can lead to drowsy driving/fatigued driving which decreases alertness, leading to errors in judgment and delayed reaction times on a par with drunk drivers. Safety officials believe that fatigue plays a role in as many as 40% of accidents involving large trucks.
At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, we investigate every trucking accident that comes our way to determine whether driver fatigue or other factors caused the crash. We work to hold truckers and trucking companies accountable when their lack of attention to safety has resulted in serious injury to another driver or, all too tragically and all too often, death. Our firm has a record of taking on the biggest trucking companies and achieving significant verdicts for our clients.
Get the Help You From A Atlanta Drowsy/Fatigued Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a metro Atlanta tractor-trailer accident or lost a loved one due to a semi-truck driver’s fatigued and negligent driving, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 for a free consultation with our Atlanta truck accident lawyers. We take on cases involving the most serious catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, and we fight to secure significant compensation for our clients who were hurt because of another’s negligence or wrongful conduct.