Delivery Truck Accidents and Truck Driver Fatigue

The United States Post Office, UPS, Fed Ex, and multiple other companies reported unprecedented numbers of package deliveries this holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of the typical holiday crush, carriers delivered millions of packages to shoppers who decided that online shopping was a much safer option than in-person shopping, as well as delivering gifts across the country as family and friends decided to forgo holiday travel and visits and send gifts instead.

In addition to the large increase in deliveries, many carriers are also grappling with shortages of employees who are either out sick with COVID-19 or in quarantine as the virus continues to spread and numbers rise.

These added demands and pressures can take a toll on delivery drivers as they feel the pressure from employers to get packages delivered and consumers frustrated at the extended delivery and late delivery times. All of this also means increases in the number of delivery truck accidents. If you have been injured in a delivery truck accident, you may be unsure how to proceed with an accident claim or even who is actually liable for your damages. A Virginia truck accident attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn can help.

Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents

Whether the truck driver is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer or a delivery truck, that driver is considered a professional truck driver and, as such, is required to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and have the proper training to operate the vehicle. Commercial truck drivers are held to a much higher standard than other drivers. They not only have to follow the regular rules of the road, like not texting and driving, obeying the speed limit, using turn signals, etc., but they are also required to follow rules and regulations set by the federal government. Failure to follow any of these rules can cause truck accidents that result in serious injuries.

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. Under regular circumstances, delivery drivers face enormous pressure to deliver packages on time, but given the intense pressures drivers were dealing with this holiday season, it is highly likely that many drivers have been ignoring the Hours of Service regulations.

The Hours of Service regulations are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and are in place to ensure that all commercial truck drivers are well rested before getting behind the wheel. These regulations limit the number of hours a driver can be on the road and dictate how many hours of rest time the driver must take before getting back on the road.

The FMSCA also requires commercial truck drivers to log their hours in order to show that they are in compliance with the Hours of Service regulations. A Virginia truck accident lawyer can subpoena those logs as evidence to help prove truck driver fatigue caused or contributed to a crash.

Let a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer Help

Truck accident claims are usually more complex than other types of vehicle accident cases. There are also multiple parties who may be liable for the victim’s injuries. This is why victims should never attempt to negotiate with the trucking company, their insurance company, or any other entity representing the other side and should always contact a Virginia truck accident attorney first. An attorney will ensure that you are protected and will receive the best possible financial settlement or award based on the circumstances of your case.

The Virginia injury attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have extensive experience representing truck accident victims and their families and understand how overwhelming the situation can be. Let our attorneys fight to get you the financial justice you deserve. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.