According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are more than 4,000 people killed in this country every single year in commercial trucking accidents. Tragically, this number increases each year as commerce continues to explode across the nation and more commercial trucks take to the road. In fact, over the past seven years, the number of fatalities has increased a staggering 28 percent.
One of the most alarming factors in truck accidents is the number of crashes that are caused by truck driver fatigue. In fact, each year, there are more than 40,000 victims injured because of truck crashes caused by fatigued truck drivers, killing almost 1,000 of them. Truck drivers spend incredibly long hours on the road, under pressure to meet strict delivery schedules expected by the companies they work for.
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There are stringent regulations that are in place by the federal government that limit the number of hours a truck driver can spend behind the wheel. The goal is to ensure that each truck driver is well rested before they begin their shift. Each driver must have at least 10 consecutive hours of rest time before they begin a shift. Drivers are limited to a total of 14 hours on duty. This shift can have no more than 11 hours of driving time and three hours of rest time and breaks. The driver is required to take a 30-minute break after eight hours. Regulations also prohibit a driver from working more than 60 hours within a seven-day period and 70 hours within an eight-day period. Before the clock can start ticking down on a seven-day work week, the driver must have rested for at least 32 consecutive hours. This 32 hours must include two sets 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Failure to follow these rules can lead to tragic accidents. But even drivers who do not violate federal rules and only work the allowed number of hours can still suffer from driver fatigue. Studies show that once a person has been awake for 17 hours straight, the begin to exhibit the same symptoms as someone who has a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent. This fatigue can cause a driver to suffer from delated reaction time, blurred vision, and loss of motor function.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent or reckless truck driver, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney from our firm. Truck accidents can be more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents because depending on the circumstances of the crash, there may be multiple parties who are liable for a victim’s injuries.
The legal team at Shapiro & Appleton has successfully represented many clients who were injured in truck accidents and will use all available resources to aggressively advocate for you and your family in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.