Your Legal Rights at Work

Protecting Yourself From Truck Driver Fatigue

by Lewis Hamilton

As a primary means of shipment, large trucks play a vital role in this country's transportation system. However, these large trucks also pose a safety threat to innocent drivers on the road. This is particularly true when it comes to truck driver fatigue. Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue that contributes to as much as 40% of all crashes that involve heavy trucks.

Truck Driver Fatigue

The transportation industry is regulated by a set of guidelines that determine how many hours of rest and active driving time a driver can have within a set 24 hour period. When a truck driver exceeds this recommendation and counties to drive without adequate rest, they increase the risk of fatigue setting in. Once truck driver fatigue has set in, the driver will become extremely tired and have a reduced sense of physical and mental awareness.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Unlike alcohol or drug use, truck driver fatigue is more difficult to recognize. However, there are some factors to remember that can help keep you and your family safe.

Erratic driving patterns – The manner in which the driver is handling the truck can also offer some indication that a driver is fatigued. Erratic driving includes frequent switching between high and low speeds and changing lanes. If you recognize this type of pattern, call the authorities and stay a safe distance from the truck.

Time of day – Most people are accustomed to sleeping during the night. If they have already exhausted their driving time for the day, the fact that it's night will only increase their risk of fatigue. If you are driving overnight make certain you are being very watchful of any trucks on the road.

If You're Injured

If you have been injured in an auto accident involving a large truck, you don't have to suffer. An accident attorney from a firm like Edward J. Achrem & Associates, Ltd. can help you move forward past this tragedy to try to start rebuilding your life. An attorney will take the time to comb through the driver's log book to determine if they intentionally violated guidelines and continued to drive without getting adequate rest, which contributed to your injuries.

An attorney will also fight with the truck driving company to ensure they take claim to their fair share of the blame. All in all, an accident attorney will work hard to ensure you're compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering, missed time from work and any other unexpected expenses you encounter.

If you get into an accident with a large truck because the driver was fatigued you are the victim. However, an attorney will work hard to transform you from victim to victor.