Drowsy Driving On the Rise Among Tractor-Trailer Drivers?

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Attorney Brian Davis | 888-592-5071 | Free Consult

“You got an 80,000 pound truck going up against a 4,000 pound SUV or 2,500 pound car, the physics don’t lie.”

What happens when truck drivers violate the laws on how many hours they are allowed to drive at once? Is the COVID-19 pandemic putting more pressure on them to drive longer hours? Is drowsy driving on the rise among tractor-trailer drivers?

Brian Davis is an injury attorney with Davis Law Group, P.A. in Asheville, North Carolina. In this interview, he explains the risks of drowsy driving for tractor-trailer drivers and what to do if you’ve been hurt in a crash involving a drowsy truck driver.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-592-5071 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Key Takeaways From Brian Davis:

One of the biggest dangers for both truck drivers and those who share the road with them is fatigued driving. While mandatory rest regulations are supposed to be strictly enforced, pressure from trucking companies and clients to increase profit and make deliveries quickly, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, has caused an increase in drowsy driving.

Truck drivers are required to take consistent breaks after being on-duty for a certain period of time.

There are a variety of rules that apply to truck drivers regarding how long they are allowed to drive or be on-duty before they are required to take a break. One primary rule, referred to as the “11 hour rule”, says that a truck driver is only allowed to be behind the wheel driving for 11 hours a day. After that, they must stop for a rest.

The other primary rule is called the “14 hour rule”, which says that after a truck driver has been on duty for 14 hours, they cannot drive again until after he has taken a break for 10 consecutive hours.

Unfortunately, fatigued driving continues to be a problem for truck drivers.

Davis has been handling trucking accident cases for 30 years and maintains that he has yet to see a case where there has not been a breach of these hours of service rules. Although logs do exist to track a driver’s time spent on the road and time spent on breaks, these logs are easy to falsify, even in their new digital format. Identifying situations in which these safety regulations might have been violated can be difficult for the layperson, but is something that most truck accident attorneys are quite familiar with. Davis points out that it is nearly impossible to identify these violations without a lawyer and most likely a lawsuit.

Truck driving is an extremely difficult job, and increased pressure by trucking companies is not helping.

Truck drivers work an extremely taxing job with long hours spent away from their families, usually in an effort to provide a good, sustainable living for themselves and their families. The real problem, Davis suggests, are the trucking companies that push drivers to break the rules regarding speed limits and mandatory rest breaks.

As a general rule, if a truck isn’t moving, it isn’t making money. This can lead to gross oversights in safety that puts truck drivers and others at risk in an effort by trucking companies to increase profits at their drivers’ expense.

Collisions between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks tend to be catastrophic.

It is rare for mere “fender benders” to occur between a large truck and a passenger vehicle. This is simply due to the physics of the situation. When a vehicle as large and heavy as an 18-wheeler collides with a standard passenger vehicle, the injuries that occur tend to be severe or even fatal. With the added pressure on truck drivers during the COVID-19 crisis to transport goods as fast as possible, truck accidents have increased.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a semi-truck, contact a truck accident attorney to learn more about your options for recovery. Most of these attorneys work on contingency, which means their clients don’t pay unless they win. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after one of these accidents. Waiting to seek legal counsel can result in a dispersal of necessary evidence which could be vital to proving the validity of an accident victim’s claim.

To learn more, contact Brian Davis directly by calling 888-592-5071 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.