Cape Girardeau Truck Driver Fatigue
Big Rig Crash Lawyers Serving Southeast Missouri
From a young age, we have all been encouraged to get a good night’s sleep. These are not empty words. Numerous safety organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have studied the effects of fatigue and drowsiness on drivers in recent years. Studies confirm drowsy drivers are less able to pay attention to their surroundings, exhibit slower reaction times, and make poor decisions, compared to well-rested drivers. While common knowledge says people should not drive if they are too tired, federal laws are in place to prevent interstate truck drivers from doing so. If truck driver fatigue caused your vehicle to get hit, let our Cape Girardeau truck accident attorneys guide you through the legal process. We are a large regional personal injury law firm that has fought for injured victims for more than 30 years.
Federal Laws Are in Place to Reduce Fatigued Driving
Research shows fatigued drivers exhibit many of the same side effects as drunk drivers. In the context of a trucking accident, this is a dangerous proposition. Commercial trucks, including semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers, are significantly larger than other vehicles on the road, which means accidents involving them can produce catastrophic injuries. Thus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place to prevent accidents caused by truck driver fatigue.
FMCSA regulations govern the following:
- Number of consecutive hours one can drive
- Number of hours one can work in a given time period
- Mandatory logging of routes and hours of service
- Required rest breaks
Pursuing Compensation Following a Truck Crash
Following an accident with a commercial truck, it is important to thoroughly investigate exactly what happened. This can include investigating the wreck itself and the circumstances surrounding it. If your accident occurred in Cape Girardeau or Cape Girardeau County, a lawyer can arrange for the truck’s “black box” to be inspected by an expert in a timely manner. A lawyer can also take steps to prevent the spoliation of important evidence, such as driver logs, maintenance records, and electronic control module (ECM) data. This evidence can be used to establish truck driver fatigue caused or contributed to the accident.
Preserving evidence can make the difference in a victim recovering fair compensation or nothing at all. If you can prove that the truck driver operated his vehicle in excess of the time allowed by law, you can pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you suffered as a result of the collision. For instance, an analysis of a trucker’s driving log could reveal he had driven for 13 consecutive hours without taking a break. If steps are not taken to preserve those logs, they could be destroyed in the ordinary course of business and lost forever.
Speak with a Cape Girardeau Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Big trucking companies have the resources to fight injury claims. Immediately following a wreck, they may send out investigators to visit the scene, preserve evidence, and take your recorded interview. Before speaking with any insurance carrier or company’s representative, you should speak with legal counsel of your own. Our attorneys understand Missouri and federal driving regulations, and we offer a free consultation to discuss your rights with you. Call us toll-free at 800-529-4004 or fill out our online form for a no-cost evaluation with one of our truck crash attorneys. NST serves those injured throughout Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Kentucky, including Cape Girardeau, Hayti, Caruthersville, Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Tupelo, Columbus, Meridian, and Grenada. Let us show you why NST is the way to go.