How Trucker Fatigue Can Lead to Truck Accidents in the El Paso Area
When truck accidents occur, they are often the result of many different causes. These factors can impose legal responsibility for the accident upon the driver, the truck’s owner or the transportation company that owns the truck. Consult with an El Paso truck accident attorney to learn more about the legal rights injury victims have after an accident.
The Problem of Truck Driver Fatigue
Countries across the world have attempted to mitigate the effects of driver fatigue by restricting the number of hours a commercial vehicle operator may drive in a day. While this is an important step toward reducing the number of fatigued drivers on the road, it does not comprehensively address all aspects of the problem. For example, the joint driver fatigue study notes that nighttime driving is a significant risk factor. In fact, an extensive body of research literature on shift work has repeatedly demonstrated that nighttime workers in many different industries are at higher risk of workplace accidents. Yet there are no known regulations in the world which limit nighttime commercial driving. While it cannot be accurately concluded that restrictions on nighttime driving would inevitably reduce overall accident rates, this is still important data for employers to have when scheduling drivers and routes. In certain cases, an employer’s disregard for nighttime driving fatigue could lead an insurance company or court to determine that it negligently placed a driver on the road with an unreasonable risk of fatigue.
The problem of fatigued driving is ongoing. Federal transportation agencies continue to study the problem in order to determine which laws and regulations will best promote safety on the roadways of America. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently seeking approval to conduct a study of driver commuting practices. Other research and funding continues to examine the problem, as well.
Texas Feels the Pain of Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is more than facts and figures, or federal regulations. Texas residents are directly impacted by the effects of this pervasive problem. One Texas teenager will face long-term pain and complications as the result of a fatigued truck driver. KVUE reports that she was rear-ended by a truck driver while stopped for traffic in Round Rock. The victim’s car was stopped when the eighteen-wheeler hit her vehicle from behind at more than 50 miles per hour. When police arrived on the scene, the truck driver told them that he had fallen asleep behind the wheel.
As the UCLA Sleep Center reports, cases like this are somewhat unique because so many crashes that involve a driver who was too tired to drive aren't reported as such. That means the danger might be understated. However, if we have reason to believe that a truck driver was asleep at the wheel at the time of a crash, we can thoroughly investigate and find evidence to support this conclusion. For example, tired drivers usually do not even hit the brakes before impact, which means there will be no skid marks on the road.
A complicated truck accident can be the result of many different legal causes. It is important to identify these causes in order to locate the persons or companies with an obligation to compensate accident victims. An El Paso truck accident attorney can help improve victims’ access to compensation after a truck accident.