Truck Driver Fatigue | Kermit 18 Wheeler Accidents
The Permian Basin oil and gas boom has led to an influx of large trucks on the roadways in cities like Kermit, Texas. These commercial motor vehicles haul dangerous materials, such as heavy equipment, fracking sand, oil, and other industrial goods. Both the oil and shipping companies emphasize productivity, and this pressure filters down to truckers who have to maintain rigorous routes. These factors have caused accidents with large trucks to become more common.
If you were in a crash with a semi-truck, you might need advice filing a trucking injury claim. Fortunately, a Kermit 18 wheeler accident lawyer from Carabin Shaw can help you figure out your next steps.Federal Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, understands how demanding commercial trucking can be. In the past, drivers pushed themselves to the limit to keep up with company requests and schedule more routes to make a better living. As a result, accidents involving truck driver fatigue were all too common. To combat this type of crash, the FMCSA instituted the Interstate Truck Driver’s Hours-of-Service regulations. These rules limit both when and how long truckers can drive to ensure they stay awake while on the road.
Lawyers know that truck drivers must:
- Adhere to a 14-hour driving window: Drivers have a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours. This window begins when truckers start any work.
- Take a 10-hour break after the 14-hour window: At the end of 14 consecutive hours of driving time, truckers must stop driving. They cannot drive again until they take a 10-hour break.
- Take a 30-minute break after driving 8 consecutive hours: Drivers cannot drive more than 8 hours in a row without taking a break. The FMSCA writes, “For example, if the driver started driving immediately after coming on duty, he or she could drive for 8 consecutive hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 3 hours for a total of 11 hours.” The department continues, “Because of this short break provision, drivers are able to work 13.5 hours in the 14-hour period.”
Truckers must log their hours. This practice holds them accountable for following the law. If you suspect fatigue contributed to your accident, a Kermit 18 wheeler accident lawyer can look into the driver’s records. If anything seems amiss, an attorney can use this information to demonstrate fault.Other Driving Responsibilities
Lawyers know that federal guidelines alone don’t guarantee safe driving. Despite strides in the right direction, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study reported that 13% of truckers were fatigued at the time of their accident. These drivers are still responsible for your injuries, and a Kermit truck accident attorney can secure damages on your behalf.
Beyond following hours-of-service regulations, truckers need to get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel, take naps as needed, maintain a healthy diet, and recognize the signs of drowsiness. They should also avoid quick fixes for keeping themselves alert, such as abusing caffeine, smoking, and rolling down the window.
If you suspect a negligent, fatigued truck driver caused your crash, get in touch with a Kermit auto injury attorney. The right attorney will know how to proceed.Securing Representation in Kermit, Texas
At Carabin Shaw, we are focused on your health and financial stability. When someone infringes on your wellbeing by driving fatigued, you deserve a voice. A Kermit 18 wheeler accident lawyer can give you one in court. We promise to leverage our expertise to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer. We’ll use this time to listen to you, look over your case materials, and answer your questions.
To speak with a Kermit truck accident attorney, dial 432-242-2222 or call us toll-free at 1-800-862-1260.