Fatigued Drivers May Cause Serious Or Fatal Accidents

Marsh, Rickard & Bryan, P.C., is dedicated to serving our clients' needs quickly and capably. If you've been injured in a trucking accident as the result of a driver's mental fatigue, we have the skill and experience to prove your claim through in-depth investigation. Contact our offices today for more information and a free initial consultation.

Driver Fatigue: The Regulations

Because semi-trucks are such a potential danger on the road, there are strict regulations that dictate how they must be operated. Trucking regulations unequivocally state that "No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle… while [his or her] ability or alertness is so impaired…through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe…to operate the commercial motor vehicle" (C.F.R. 49 Sec. 392.3).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that motor carriers comply with certain limitations on driving and working time. These regulations are described in 49 CFR 395.3 and are intended to keep fatigued drivers off the roadways. To prove that they are following these rules, they are also required to keep logbooks documenting where, when and how long they drove to deliver a load.

When Regulations Are Ignored

Unfortunately, it is often in the driver's financial interest to break these rules. In addition, it is often in the employer's financial interest to look the other way or to turn a blind eye when logbook numbers are tampered with and drivers spend too many hours out on the road. These over-long shifts can lead quickly to a driver's mental fatigue, driver error and a highly dangerous car wreck.

By obtaining a copy of the logbooks, however, our attorneys may be able to either prove how long the driver was out on the road, or possibly prove that the numbers in the book are false. Often, this can lead to a charge of negligent supervision against the employer.

Contact Marsh, Rickard & Bryan, P.C., today for more information.