Driver Fatigue and 18 Wheeler Accidents in San Antonio
Driving fatigued while on the road is dangerous, especially when the driver is behind the wheel of a semi. These 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds—that’s 16 times more than an average vehicle weighs. At that size and weight, a semi traveling at 65 miles per hour takes on average 525 feet to stop.
It’s no wonder 18-wheelers are responsible for thousands of deaths nationwide every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 5,005 people nationwide were killed in accidents involving large trucks. Unfortunately, Texas takes the lead in the number of fatalities from accidents with these commercial vehicles.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler? Or have you lost a loved one? Texas 18 wheeler accident attorneys at Carabin Shaw will help you in your fight for justice.Common Causes of Driver Fatigue
Many accidents are caused by tired drivers who are not alert or who fall asleep at the wheel. Driver fatigue is typically caused by:
- Insufficient sleep
- Driving more consecutive hours than permitted by state and federal laws
- Pressure to deliver the cargo
- Ignoring federal and/or state regulations
Driver fatigue and 18-wheeler accidents can be prevented. That’s why there are both federal and state regulations for commercial drivers, specifically semi-truck drivers. Many of these laws limit the number of hours drivers can spend on duty. These hours are called “Hours of Service,” or “HOS” for short.
- A trucker can drive 11 hours total after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- A driver may not drive beyond the 14th hour after their return to work after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- A trucker may not drive if 8 or more hours have elapsed since his or her last off-duty or sleeper berth rest period of at least 30 minutes
- A driver may not drive after having spent 60-70 hours on duty within a period of 7-8 consecutive days
- A driver with a sleeper berth provision must spend at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus at least 2 consecutive hours off duty and/or in the sleeper berth
These laws are very complex. San Antonio personal injury lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that the driver responsible for the accident followed all federal and Texas state regulations.How to File a Claim
Victims of accidents with 18 wheelers often have expensive medical bills, have lost income due to being unable to work, have extensive or irreparable damage to their vehicle, and may experience ongoing pain and suffering. Filing a San Antonio 18 wheeler accident claim can help you receive compensation for what you have lost. Here are steps you should take:
- Seek medical attention: Call 911 to report the accident and request emergency medical responders. If emergency medical care is not necessary, seek care from a doctor within 24 hours. Remember to keep copies of any medical reports and bills.
- Report the accident: When you call 911, an officer will ask for basic information from you and the truck driver and file a report. Ask for a copy of the report as soon as possible.
- Gather evidence: If you are able, gather evidence from the accident. Take notes and photos from multiple angles. If there were any witnesses to the accident, retrieve their contact information.
- Notify your insurance company: Insurance companies have strict deadlines for reporting an accident, so do this as soon as possible.
- Contact an attorney: You can read through Carabin Shaw’s client reviews. Finding the right lawyer to help you build your case is important.
Carabin Shaw offers a free case review / initial consultation. We have both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking experts available to speak with you 24/7. Call toll-free: 800-862-1260.