Truck driver errors contribute to a large majority of truck accidents in the United States. Whether the driver is impaired, takes unnecessary risks, or is simply unable to react to dangers on the road, these critical errors can cost lives. Truck drivers can also contribute to accidents by speeding, using their brakes improperly, or even loading their trucks without proper distribution. Regardless of the cause, if you are injured in an accident with a semi-truck, contact a truck accident attorney in St. Louis right away. The driver, as well as the employer, may be liable for your injuries. You may also be entitled to compensation.
Why Do Driver Errors Occur?
According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers of semi-trucks and tractor trailers are ten times more likely to cause an accident than factors like weather, road conditions or vehicle issues. The FMCSA has looked at certain factors that lead to these errors, such as the use of prescription and/or over-the-counter medications, fatigue, inattention, distracted driving, unfamiliarity with the roadway, etc.
This study found that:
- 44 percent of truck drivers were taking prescription medications or over-the-counter medications at the time of their accident.
- 23 percent of truck drivers were driving too fast for the road or weather conditions.
- 18 percent suffered from driver fatigue.
There are other errors that can lead to accidents as well, but these are the most common.
Driver Fatigue – a Growing Concern
Fatigue can cause truck drivers to fall asleep at the wheel, be inattentive to their surroundings, misjudge gaps between traffic, ignore traffic signals, and over- or under-react in driving situations. While fatigue is very common in trucking accidents, it is preventable.
There are federal hours of service rules that regulate how long commercial truck drivers can be on the road before they are required to take resting breaks. These rules were created to ensure that truck drivers obtain the restorative sleep needed to drive safely. Under these regulations, drivers can work a maximum of 14 hours per day, but only drive for 11 of those hours. Then, the driver must be off-duty for 10 consecutive hours prior to the next shift. Further, the driver must not drive for a certain period after being on-duty for 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days.
Were You Injured by a Fatigued Truck Driver?
In order to prove that a driver violated the hours of service or that the driver’s employer violated federal regulations, you will need to see the driver’s logs, and request employment and payment records. An attorney can assist you with gathering this evidence and proving your claim for compensation. After a serious truck accident, contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC to file your claim for compensation. You can schedule your consultation by calling 866-519-0085 or by filling out our online contact form with your legal questions.