Due to their sheer size, accidents involving trucks are typically some of the most dangerous kinds of motor vehicle wrecks. If you or a loved one was injured after a collision with a tractor-trailer or semi-truck, you may wish to pursue compensation with the help of a Michigan truck accident lawyer.
However, for a successful claim, a victim must be able to prove that a trucker was careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent in their legal duty of care while behind the wheel. One of the most common reasons for truck accidents is due to driver fatigue.
Contributing Factors to Trucker Fatigue
According to a report done by the Journal of Public Health Policy, 31 percent of truck drivers admitted to driving more than the weekly hours of service limit, with 19 percent of drivers stating that they had fallen asleep at the wheel one or more times.
Often, truck drivers will openly admit to driving while fatigued. Reports show that truck drivers’ explanation for violating the hour or service limit include tight scheduling and needing the money, as well as heavy traffic conditions and inclement weather causing severe delays in driving hours.
Another factor that may add to truck driver fatigue revolves around certain local and county officials rejecting requests by truck stop owners and developers to open additional rest-stop facilities for long-distance truckers to eat, sleep, shower, and make phone calls. A lack of truck stops may increase the likelihood that a trucker is fatigued while driving, often pushing themselves to keep driving despite being a danger to them and others on the roadways.
Regulation for Trucking Hours
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations (FMCSR), commercial motor vehicle companies are supposed to help eliminate truck driver fatigue in a number of ways. These steps include:
- Restricting hours of service
- Managing truck schedules
- Giving the opportunity to obtain adequate sleep
- Limiting nighttime driving to a minimum
It is important that truck drivers be regulated so that commercial motor vehicle companies can do their part in helping to prevent future accidents. These rules should be enforced. In addition, statistics show that fatigue contributes to 8 percent of all fatal truck crashes. Enforcing these regulations would most likely help decrease this number substantially.
Commercial vehicles comprise only 4 percent of all registered vehicles but remain the most dangerous when it comes to fatigued driving—this is because of the extra weight that is carried in the shipment. Factors affecting truck stopping distance in the event of a crash include speed, weather and road surface, tires, weight, and brakes. All of these factors need an appropriate reaction time in order to prevent a truck wreck from occurring.
How a Lawyer Could Help Fight for Compensation in Michigan Truck Driver Fatigue Crashes
If you were injured in a crash or collision, a Michigan accident lawyer may be able to help. Because an injured claimant must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a trucker was negligent, it is important to have a legal professional on your side to investigate the circumstances leading up to a crash.
At Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. an attorney could explain each step of the legal process and work tirelessly to demonstrate trucker fatigue. To discuss your case, call today to schedule a consultation.
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