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Truck Driver Fatigue

Trucking Accident Injury Lawyer Attorney

Driver fatigue and drowsiness are conditions that result in reckless behavior such as failure to keep in the proper lane and running off the road. Tired truckers are of such concern that in April of 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted new hours of service regulations to curb truckers' problems with fatigue. While these laws have helped reduce the number of accidents, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board still blames driver fatigue as a probable factor in 20-40% of truck crashes.

Sleep deprivation impairs a person's ability to perform a variety of tasks, including those related to driving and operating equipment. Often a truck driver's fatigue is caused by inadequate daily sleep, rather than a complete absence of sleep. A truck driver's extended hours of operation can create a scenario of continuous sleep deprivation by limiting a driver's daily sleep. Due to acid reflux and sleep apnea there can be a lack of quality REM sleep. This has only recently been recognized. Research reveals a strong link between overweight truck drivers and sleep apnea, and statistics indicate that truck crashes kill more than 5,200 each year and injure more than 100,000 each year in the United States. Because of this now recognized problem, Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. maintains that the company may be negligent for not checking its drivers for sleep apnea problems.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck driver fatigue truck auto accident in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Utah, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, District of Columbia (D.C.), Delaware, Connecticut, Colorado, California and Arizona, please email or call our committed truck auto accident lawyers today. We are focused on obtaining justice for you - the victim. Your toll free call to 1-800-773-6770 will be answered by a real truck accident lawyer.

When commercial drivers become fatigued from excessive daily and weekly work hours, they substantially increase the risk of crashes that result in death or serious injuries. At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. are experienced truck auto accident lawyers and have sleep deprivation experts to analyze and testify on these issues.

Our truck auto accident law firm knows the hours-of-service regulations found in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) Part 395. These regulations apply directly to truck drivers and control the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to operate in a 24 hour period. The law allows Interstate truck drivers to drive 11 hours in a work period, prohibit driving after 14 hours since coming on-duty, and require at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty to re-qualify for a new work period. Falsifying or falsification of log books is a real and ongoing problem. The problem is that it only comes to the surface after a devastating truck collision. These drivers and these companies should pay you for the injuries they have inflicted upon you and Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., or their co-counsel, will stop until they do.

As experienced truck automobile accident attorneys, we know exactly how to conduct accident reconstruction when the accident is so serious that "how the accident happened" is not easy to discern.

With miles and miles of highway stretching out before them, the longer truckers can drive the greater the potential revenue for truck companies. The average trucker drives 125,000 miles a year, and that's on the low end of an average. Trucking revenues totaled $610 billion last year and revenues are forecasted to nearly double by 2015. It is easy to see how profit can encourage truckers to drive further for longer hours, with shorter breaks, to increase their income.

However, profit is not the only factor influencing driver fatigue. A truck driver may be anxious to get home for the weekend, or 'push through' to avoid traffic snarls during rush hour. Truck companies may offer a driver bonus for extra stops, or the driver may be trying to make up for time lost due to bad weather or traffic.

Because there may be several factors influencing a driver's hours of service, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that drivers and carriers maintain logs, expense receipts, and other paperwork that track their compliance with current Hours of Service regulations. However, in order for existing laws to deter unsafe behavior they must be properly enforced.

Kenneth Mead, U.S. Transportation Department inspector general, testified April 5 before the Senate Commerce Committee on transportation safety programs. "We have conducted criminal investigations of egregious cases in which trucking company officials have been prosecuted for systematically forcing their drivers to drive well in excess of the limits," Mead testified.

Log book and hours rules need strengthening because unscrupulous carriers and drivers view violations as "the cost of doing business," he said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rescinded a proposal that would have required on-board recorders as enforcement evidence. Since then, courts have ordered the agency to review that decision.

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), in 2003 large trucks hauled the majority of all freight transported in the U.S. § over nine billion tons. With an ever increasing number of tractor trailers on our roads, driver fatigue is a public safety issue. We must mandate and enforce reasonable hours of service (HOS) limits for the safety of all motorists.

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Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
1811 Bering Drive, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77057
Toll Free: 1-800-773-6770
Fax: 713-668-1980
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