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If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a truck accident because of truck driver fatigue, our Nashville accidents attorney will make sure you get the compensation you deserve to get your life back on track after such a devastating event. We will guide you through every stage of your Tennessee injury law case with our cutting-edge approach giving you all the advantages you need against the negligence of truck drivers.

What Are The Causes of Truck Driver Exhaustion?

Truck driver exhaustion is defined as the extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness. Generally, a person with fatigue may complain of weakness, lack of energy, constant exhaustion, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty in starting and completing tasks. Severe fatigue may lead to fainting or syncope, heart palpitations, and dizziness or vertigo.

Lack of sleep seems to be the dominant factor that can lead to truck driver exhaustion. The pressure to get to his destination on time, or be able to make more deliveries so he can make more money can push a trucker to cut corners and forego sleep and rest, and even eating. 

Long hours of driving, sitting behind the wheel, without any physical stimulation or exercise, can render a trucker’s body prone to muscle exhaustion and fatigue. 

Lack of human contact also makes truck drivers feel overtired. Having no one to talk to and share ideas and thoughts with can have a negative impact on a driver mentally.

What Are The Effects of Truck Driver Fatigue?

The effects of driver exhaustion are eerily similar to symptoms of intoxication or drunkenness and can include the following conditions:

  • poor muscle coordination (vision, hearing, balance)
  • impaired reaction time, judgment and self-control
  • short-term memory loss
  • drowsiness that can lead to a trucker falling asleep behind the wheel

Some drivers may readily recognize that they are tired or fatigued, and may opt to take a break. Some, however, do not know the symptoms of being overtired and carry on doing their job. Worst of all is that some choose to ignore the signs of fatigue and drive on, knowingly putting the lives of others and even their own lives in danger.

What Are The Rules And Regulations Regarding Truck Driver Hours?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the lead federal government agency tasked with the regulation and safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles such as large trucks and buses.

There are federal regulations that monitor driver hours to make sure they get adequate sleep, proper breaks, and ample rest between shifts.

A trucker who carries property only and not people can drive up to 11 hours within a 14-hour period after having ten consecutive hours off. These consecutive hours include off-duty time and sleeping in a sleeper berth. In addition, drivers need to take at least one 30-minute break within any 8-hour driving period.

The FMCSA prescribes different rules for truckers hauling passengers, but a general rule is they can drive up to 10 hours within a 15-hour period after 8 consecutive hours off. 

Looking at it on a weekly basis, a trucker can work up to 60 or 70 hours a week in 7 or 8 consecutive days, respectively. A 7 or 8 day period can only start after the trucker is off-duty for 34 consecutive hours.

Federal regulations also prescribe the minimum standards for driver qualifications. Drivers must:

  • be 21 years of age or older, 
  • be able to read and speak English sufficiently, read traffic signs and signals, respond to official inquiries, and write reports and records 
  • have a current, valid commercial motor vehicle operator’s license 
  • have adequate experience and training in operating a commercial motor vehicle 
  • have successfully completed a driver’s road test and issued the corresponding certificate.

How Will A Truck Driver Be Proven Fatigued?

A Nashville truck driver fatigue lawyer will be able to prove that the driver who hit you was too tired to drive in a number of ways. The driver, based on his own testimony, may admit to being tired after driving for a significant amount of time. Eye witness accounts and police observations may also be employed for your benefit. 

The strongest evidence to prove truck driver fatigue is to find out if he violated federal hours of service regulations. Your lawyer will review the driver and motor carrier’s hours of service records, compare the trucker’s records to the truck’s black box, and compare the trucker’s records to the truck’s GPS data. He will use the discovery portion of the legal process to obtain information from the truck driver, the vehicle, and the motor carrier. 

If the truck driver was pressured by their company to travel even if he should be off-duty, he could have been forced to falsify his service hour records and ignore federal regulations. Comparing the driver’s records to data in the vehicle’s black box or other electronic units can uncover potential violations.

What Can Our Nashville Truck Driver Fatigue Lawyer Do For You?

If an accident was caused by an exhausted truck driver, the damage you may sustain could be debilitating, or worse, even fatal.

Our Nashville truck driver fatigue lawyer will provide you with the knowledge and resources needed to get the compensation you deserve. Helping you recover from the strain on your finances due to medical costs, physical rehabilitation, lost income, and property damage, not to mention the pain and suffering that typically happens with these types of accidents. Our injury law firm in Nashville, Tennessee, promises you dedicated representation, the highest professional standards, and the invaluable insight we have when it comes to accident cases. We care about you!