Tiredness severely decreases a driver’s reaction time and can lead to devastating traffic wrecks, especially when large commercial vehicles are involved. Unfortunately, truckers and other commercial drivers often work while fatigued due to the strict schedules of their jobs. To combat trucker fatigue accidents in Columbus and around the country, there are regulations for work hours that trucking companies must abide by.
If you were injured by a tractor-trailer due to an overtired driver, consult a seasoned truck accident attorney on seeking compensation in a civil claim. At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our legal team has years of experience holding all responsible parties accountable for semi-truck collisions, such as the fatigued driver and their employer.
Common Causes of Truck Driver Tiredness
Sadly, many delivery truck drivers work under intense time pressure for completing their routes. Many trucker fatigue accidents in Columbus occur due to drivers not taking the rest breaks needed to be fully focused on the road. Employers may also directly or indirectly push their drivers to violate federally mandated rest periods. This pressure contributes to many overworked and fatigued tractor-trailer operators on Columbus roads, which is dangerous for all other motorists in the vicinity.
Many of these types of accidents occur late at night. One typical scenario is an overtired trucker following the hazard lights of a car on the side of the road, which could lead to them colliding with the stopped vehicle. Another common situation involves a vehicle making a maneuver that a truck operator could have avoided if they were fully awake and had a faster reaction time.
Truck Operator Rest Regulations
Tractor-trailer and semi-truck drivers are limited in the amount of time they can drive consecutively. This includes regulations for both the number of hours they can drive per day and per week. For instance, federal mandates ban truckers from driving more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period. Additionally, commercial truck drivers must also have 10 hours off after a 14-hour period of working.
Proving Violations of Trucker Work Laws
Truck operators and their employers track the numbers of driving hours in logbooks. Many newer trucks also have GPS devices that can help prove whether or not these records are accurate. If a Columbus resident is struck by a trucker who they suspect was fatigued, a skilled attorney could examine various types of documentation to see whether the working schedule followed federal regulations. This could include the logbook as well as delivery invoices or contracts.
Who is Liable for Accidents Caused by Overtired Truckers?
If the fatigued driver is an employee of a trucking company, an experienced lawyer would investigate the available evidence to see whether the employer could also be held accountable for the accident. If an overtired trucking accident involves an independent contractor, liability could be more difficult to determine. However, civil claims for collisions caused by drivers on the job can often include the trucking company as an at-fault party.
If the trucker’s employer is found responsible, the split of liability between the company and the driver might not ultimately matter. Usually, there is enough insurance coverage to compensate an injured victim for their truck collision damages. As long as the injured party is not at fault, they should be able to seek comprehensive recovery for their losses with dedicated legal assistance.
Get Legal Support for Trucker Fatigue Accidents in Columbus
Unlike other types of collisions, it can be difficult to establish fatigue as the cause of a tractor-trailer crash. Gathering and presenting compelling evidence of an overworked driver requires skill, experience, and significant knowledge of trucking laws and regulations.
The proficient attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have handled many trucker fatigue accidents in Columbus and are ready to assist you with your case. If you seek compensation for injuries caused by an overtired driver, call our firm today.