Ohio Truck Driver Fatigue Attorney
Every year, thousands of truck accidents in Ohio cause serious and fatal injuries. Drowsy truck drivers cause many of these devastating collisions. Contact the Ohio injury lawyers at Elk & Elk if you’ve been injured by truck driver fatigue in Ohio. Our truck accident lawyers can help you fight for justice and maximum financial compensation from the responsible party.
Why Are Truck Drivers Prone to Fatigue?
Drowsy drivers can cause many different types of motor vehicle collisions in Ohio. Truck drivers, however, have a greater responsibility for the safety of others as operators of large and dangerous big rigs. They must take extra caution not to drive while fatigued.
Unfortunately, several challenges unique to the trucking industry increase the risk of truck driver fatigue:
- Long hours spent alone on the road
- Long-haul trips and overnight drives
- Reversed daytime and nighttime schedules
- Low quality of sleep
- Daytime drowsiness
- Poor diet and exercise
- An increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea
- Medications or drugs that cause fatigue
- Energy spikes due to caffeine or stimulants
These risk factors make it somewhat likely to encounter a tired, drowsy or fatigued truck driver on the road in Ohio. If you notice a truck driver abruptly speeding up or slowing down, slamming on the brakes, drifting between lanes, or drifting off the road, keep your distance and report the driver to the authorities. The driver may be falling asleep behind the wheel.
Common Types of Truck Accidents Caused By Driver Fatigue
Driving drowsy is comparable to driving drunk. A fatigued truck driver cannot make decisions, use the proper judgment or control the truck in a safe manner. Fatigue can cause issues such as blurred vision, brain fog, reduced reaction times, muscle weakness and confusion.
Truck driver fatigue can cause many serious types of truck accidents, including:
- High-speed rear-end collisions
- Override accidents
- Underride accidents
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Wrong-way accidents
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone/intersection accidents
- Jackknife accidents
If you are involved in any of these types of truck accidents in Ohio, consider if the truck driver could have been drowsy. If so, the truck driver or truck company may be financially responsible for your injuries.
Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused By Truck Driver Fatigue?
The main law in place to prevent truck driver drowsiness is the federal hours-of-service regulation. This law restricts how many hours a commercial driver can drive without taking a rest break:
- A property-carrying driver cannot exceed a maximum of 11 hours on the road after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- A driver may not drive beyond 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty.
- A truck driver must take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 cumulative hours.
- A driver may not exceed 60/70 driving hours total in 7/8 consecutive days.
If a trucking company encourages its drivers to break hours-of-service regulations to cut time off of transit, the trucking company could be liable for a drowsy driving accident. The trucking company could also be vicariously liable if the driver chose to break the rules on his or her own.
Proving liability for your truck accident requires evidence of driver fatigue, such as accident reconstruction, testimony from experts, photos and videos, accident reports, employment records, driver logs, truck company compliance reports, the truck’s black box, and in-cab footage. An attorney can help you collect and present key evidence.
Get Help From an Ohio Truck Accident Attorney
Determining the cause of your truck accident, collecting proof of driver fatigue and bringing your claim against an insurance company are all tasks a truck accident attorney in Ohio can complete for you. At Elk & Elk, our attorneys will stand by your side through every phase of the legal process.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving truck driver fatigue, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We can help you and your family finally move forward.