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Florida Injury Attorney

Driver Fatigue Blamed For Truck Accident


An accident involving two semi-trucks and a pickup truck uncovered evidence that the driver had been driving for two months straight without a day off. Federal regulations limit when and how long truck drivers can drive. In the case of this particular truck driver, evidence showed that he would drive for 10 hours at a time without taking a break. This violates federal regulations and presents a danger to other drivers on the road. In this case, the semi-truck driver rear-ended another semi-truck and then sideswiped a pickup. The driver of the pickup truck settled the lawsuit for 6 figures.

Icy conditions were also blamed for the crash. On the day of the crash, Texas was enduring one of the worst winter storms it had encountered in recent history. The roads were slick with ice and the driver failed to stop in time, causing an accident with two other vehicles.

In depositions, the driver testified that he would drive for 10 hours at a time. His teammate would then drive 10 hours straight, and they would switch off on a 10-hour clock. This would continue every day. The driver did not take days off, so at the time of the accident, it had been going on for at least a month.

Driver fatigue lawsuits 

Federal regulations require truck drivers to take breaks every 8 hours of driving. They also require that truck drivers don’t drive over a specific amount over the course of a week. In cases where they violate federal laws and cause an accident, an attorney representing an injured party can use this as evidence that the truck driver and their company were negligent. In the case mentioned above, the driver had driven over 80 hours over a seven-day period and over 100 hours over an 8-day period. Federal regulations prohibit drivers from driving over 60 hours during a 7-day period and over 70 hours over an 8-day period.

Driver fatigue is a major factor in many motor vehicle accidents. When a driver is tired, their reaction time is lower. The icy conditions of the road also played a factor in the aforementioned lawsuit. Truck drivers are expected to drive slower in icy conditions. Large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers do not stop on a dime. Truck drivers need to have better reaction time than drivers operating smaller commuter vehicles. Add fatigue into the mix with icy roads, and you have a perfect storm that makes an accident inevitable.

The attorney representing the plaintiff, in this case, filed a complaint against the company for their hours-of-service violations. He alleged that the process of switching off drivers is not a way to get around federal regulations concerning hours of service. That appears to be what the company wanted. By switching off drivers, the company could have their vehicle earning money at all times.

Talk to a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today 

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck or tractor-trailer, call the Florida personal injury attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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