Collisions Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue

Manhattan Truck Accident Attorneys Representing Those Injured by Truckers Asleep Behind the Wheel

Truck drivers are often required to travel long distances, work extended hours and meet unrealistic deadlines. Because of this, many drivers become drowsy behind the wheel or resort to unsafe methods of staying awake, putting other motorists at risk for serious injuries or even death. Truck driver fatigue can severely impair an individual's ability to operate a commercial vehicle and has become such a problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted hours-of-service regulations. Although these regulations appear to have had reduced the number of accidents, driver fatigue still contributes to up to 40 percent of all tractor trailer accidents.

When fatigue causes a crash, the trucking company may be held accountable for any resulting damages if they failed to follow federal trucking laws in regard to hours of service. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, our attorneys can investigate your claim to determine whether fatigue was a probable cause of your crash. For a FREE, initial consultation with an attorney, fill out the form on this page.

Federal Trucking Laws

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has instituted hours of service regulations for interstate drivers of commercial vehicles. Specifically, these laws enforce the following:

  • Truckers cannot drive beyond 11 hours in a single work period
  • Truck drivers are prohibited from driving after 14 hours since the start of their shift
  • Truck drivers must receive at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty before beginning a new work period

New York truck drivers are also subject to weekly limits. Trucking law prohibits truckers from driving after they have been on-duty for 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. Before beginning a new drive, truck drivers who have reached this threshold must receive at least 34 hours off-duty.

Investigating New York Truck Accidents

When an accident occurs, a lawyer will generally acquire and study the driver's log book. Truck drivers are required to record their status throughout the day as "off-duty," "on duty, not driving," "driving" or "sleeper berth." However, because drivers will rarely admit to a violation in their log books, further investigation is often needed.

Because truck drivers are capable of falsifying their log books, a skilled attorney will compare these records with fuel and food receipts, shipping records, surveillance tapes, GPS tracking data, as well as cell phone and credit card statements. After a full consideration of the evidence, the lawyer will determine whether the crash was caused by fatigue.

Federal trucking regulations were designed to prevent truck drivers from becoming fatigued and are only effective if they are enforced. Most drivers are paid by the mile and therefore given an incentive to break federal hours of service regulations. Unfortunately, these violations often have catastrophic results. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, we can determine whether fatigue led to the crash and uncover evidence that can help substantiate your claim. Simply fill out the FREE form on this page and we will evaluate your case, at no cost to you. Serving Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and all of NYC and New York State.

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