Large trucks pose a serious risk to motorists because of their sheer size and weight. They are particularly dangerous when their drivers are too tired to focus on the task of safe driving. Truck accidents caused by driver fatigue result in a significant number of preventable deaths and injuries on Texas roadways each year.
If you have been injured in a Tyler or Longview tractor-trailer fatigued driving truck accident, or you have lost a loved one as the result of an 18-wheeler fatigued driving truck accident, you need a legal team that is dedicated to helping you and your family secure the full and fair compensation you deserve. Roberts & Roberts has been helping victims and their families of truck driver fatigue accidents in Longview, Tyler and throughout Texas and across the country for more than 35 years.
Roberts & Roberts has deep roots in East Texas, yet the firm has built a national reputation based on the superior legal counsel we provide to our clients. Roberts & Roberts has been featured on dozens of television programs, including Fox and Friends, ABC Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business News, CNBC and NBC’s Dateline. If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one because of a truck accident that involved driver fatigue, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to guide you through the legal process to secure compensation for your injuries and losses.
About Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents in Tyler and Longview
Although there are numerous causes for tractor-trailer crashes, driver fatigue is one of the most common factors. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires drivers of large commercial vehicles to comply with hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. HOS regulations are intended to prevent truck drivers from being on the road past the point at which driver fatigue sets in.
Drivers of typical 18-wheel trucks are subject to the HOS regulations, as are other commercial motor vehicle drivers. The HOS regulations are lengthy and complex. However, there are some clear rules that are in place in an effort to keep drowsy truck drivers off the nation’s highways.Among the more important HOS regulations for truck drivers are the following:
- A driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours during a 14-hour period after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- A truck driver may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- Truck drivers are not permitted to drive after 60 hours on duty in seven consecutive days or 70 hours on duty over eight days. A driver may restart a seven or eight consecutive-day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate two consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Unfortunately, drivers and trucking companies in Longview, Tyler and throughout Texas do not always comply with the HOS regulations. Drivers are often paid by the mile or by the number of deliveries they accomplish in a given week. As a result, a driver may be trying to keep nearly impossible delivery schedules or trying to push on through fatigue to log those extra miles. At the same time, companies are sometimes more concerned with the bottom line than with driver safety and look the other way when a driver violates HOS regulations.
Driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents in part because of the amount of time a typical truck driver spends on the road. Lack of sleep can cause a driver to drift out of his or her lane, accelerate to dangerous speeds, run off the roadway or miss many of the signals that an accident is imminent. A driver who has slept only six to seven hours a night is twice as likely to be involved in a crash as a driver who has slept eight hours or more. A driver who has had less than five hours of sleep is four to five times more likely to be involved in a crash according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Statistics are difficult to come by regarding how often drowsy or fatigued driving plays a part in a crash, because reporting standards are different across the nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 2.5 percent of all fatal crashes involve fatigued driving each year. This means that about 1,000 innocent motorists are killed each year as a result of fatigued driving, and thousands more are injured.
What We Do for You
The team at Roberts & Roberts understands that a fatigued driver truck accident can have a catastrophic impact on you and your family. The nationally recognized attorneys and staff at Roberts & Roberts know what you are going through and will be with you every step of the way during your recovery.
We can help you obtain the medical treatment that you need to recover from the injuries sustained in the accident. If your injuries prevent you from coming to us, we will come to you in your home or at the hospital. We can also make sure that your vehicle is repaired or replaced if it was a total loss, as is often the case in a tractor-trailer accident. If you miss work as a result of the accident, then we will help you document your lost wages to ensure that you are reimbursed for the income you lost.
Roberts & Roberts has a full-time investigator who will thoroughly investigate the accident and preserve evidence. Our resources also allow us to call in accident-reconstruction teams, forensic accountants, life-care planners and any other type of expert needed to ensure that your Tyler or Longview driver fatigue truck accident case is thoroughly investigated, analyzed and litigated.