Technically speaking, commercial driver fatigue is the result of physical and mental exertion that impairs a person’s ability to function, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. When fatigued, a semi-truck driver is unable to safely operate a big rig. The percentage of fatigued semi-drivers in Houston that are considered fatigued is considerable. About one in six big rig collisions are classified as Houston fatigued semi-truck driver accidents. Our Houston fatigued semi-truck driver accident attorney is prepared to take on your case and fight to recover damages on your behalf after a crash.
If you have suffered injuries, damages, or losses in an accident you believe was caused by a fatigued semi-truck driver, you undoubtedly have a good many questions. The Doan Law Firm Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including all major holidays. You can get answers to your questions right now, and even schedule a consultation, by calling (832) 835-000.
Cheating the System: Commercial Truck Drivers and Time Limits on the Road
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established specific regulations about how long a commercial truck driver can operate a big rig. A semi driver can be behind the wheel of a commercial truck for no more than 11 hours in a 24-hour period. Additionally, a rig operator can only be on duty – driving and tending to four hours’ worth of non-driving activity (including breaks) – for a maximum of 14 hours in a 24-hour period. A driver must have 10 consecutive hours completely off duty in a 24-hour time period.
The sad reality is that commercial truck drivers and trucking companies routinely game the system and do not abide by these regulations. In simple terms, some drivers and trucking companies alike lie about a rig operator’s schedule and time on the road. This illicit conduct leaves motorists like you at serious risk.
There are a number of ways in which truck drivers and trucking companies “cheat the system” and endanger innocent people in Houston and elsewhere around the country every single day of the year. These tactics include making false entries into an operator’s log.
Pharmaceuticals, Fatigue and Big Rig Collisions
In addition to falsifying operating records, semi-drivers utilize pharmaceuticals and other mind-altering substances as a means of staying awake and driving for longer periods of time. The reality is that while there are substances that can keep individuals awake for extended periods of time, not falling asleep doesn’t mean a rig operator is attentive or in a condition to drive a big rig.
Parties Responsible for a Houston Fatigued Semi-Truck Accident
Not only will a big rig operator be held responsible for injuries caused by a fatigued driver semi accident. The trucking company is also a potentially responsible party. Generally speaking, employers are liable for the harm caused by their employees.
There are other parties that potentially could be held partially responsible for a fatigued driver commercial truck accident. For example, the company that contracted with a trucking company to carry a load might be deemed at least partially responsible for harm caused by a fatigued truck driver.
Take a Proactive Stance in Protecting Your Legal Rights
Proving that a Houston big-rig operator was fatigued at the time of an accident can prove challenging. Indeed, the number of accidents attributed to fatigue is likely below the true tally. As mentioned previously, a stunning number of drivers and trucking companies falsify records in an attempt to avoid responsibility for injuries, damages, and losses caused by this type of Houston truck accident. In addition, records and other vital physical evidence have a way of “going missing” if not collected in the immediate aftermath of a big rig accident.
An appointment can also be scheduled at your home or even at the hospital, depending on your situation. Our firm never charges an attorney fee unless we obtain a favorable settlement or judgment in a fatigued big rig operator case.