Truck Driver Fatigue

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as many as 4,000 people lose their lives in truck accidents every year. Tragically, many of those crashes were preventable as they were caused by truck driver fatigue. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), requires drivers to follow specific regulations regarding hours of service. When truck drivers cause accidents because they failed to adhere to these rules they can be held legally responsible for the resulting injuries.

What Is Fatigue?

Fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion that impairs a person’s performance and is usually the result of one of the following factors:

  • A lack of adequate sleep;
  • Extended work hours;
  • A poor diet;
  • Health-related problems;
  • Taking certain medications; and
  • Strenuous work.

Driving while fatigued causes drivers to have slower reaction times and reduced decision-making ability, which can have devastating consequences. It is even estimated that 13 percent of truck drivers who were involved in crashes were fatigued at the time of the accident. Kansas truck accidents are often due to preventable causes.

Federal Regulations

To prevent as many fatigue-related accidents as possible, the FMCSA requires truck drivers to take regular breaks and also prohibits them from working more than a certain number of hours per week. Unfortunately, some drivers do not adhere to these requirements, which can cause serious accidents. Injured parties who can establish that a truck driver was fatigued at the time of their crash may be able to collect compensation for their losses. However, proving that a driver was fatigued can be difficult, making it especially important that plaintiffs collect adequate evidence, which could include:

  • The accident report;
  • The results of a commercial motor vehicle examination, which requires a review of a driver’s record of duty, including log books;
  • A reconstruction of the accident;
  • The truck driver’s receipts;
  • The bill of lading;
  • Electronic information from in-vehicle technologies; and
  • The driver’s medical examination report.

Collecting extensive evidence can make all the difference in an injured party’s ability to collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future income, pain and suffering, and in some tragic cases, funeral costs.

Contact A Dedicated Kansas Truck Accident Attorney Today

Truck accidents can cause especially horrific injuries, many of which are prohibitively expensive to treat, so if you live in Kansas and you or a loved one were injured in a truck crash, please contact the law firm of Neustrom & Associates at 785-825-1505 to schedule a consultation with an experienced and compassionate Salina truck accident lawyer.