Indianapolis Fatigued Truck Driver Lawyer
Truck drivers have a difficult job. They’re often away from home for days or weeks and must drive long hours to meet their delivery deadlines. Unfortunately, when truckers become fatigued, accidents can happen.
If an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver in Indianapolis, Indiana, that wasn’t your fault injured you, you might be entitled to compensation. At Hankey Marks & Crider, our experienced Indianapolis truck accident attorneys understand the complexities of fatigued truck driver accidents. We’re dedicated to advocating for truck accident victims to ensure they receive the justice and compensation they deserve. Call us today at (317) 634-8565 to learn how we can help you in a free legal consultation.
The Dangers of Driving While Tired
It’s no secret that driving while tired can be a serious risk. Fatigued truck drivers are especially dangerous on the road due to the size and weight of the vehicles they control. When truck drivers are too tired to be behind the wheel, they can cause devastating accidents with life-altering consequences for those involved.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatigued driving was responsible for at least 91,000 crashes, 50,000 injuries, and nearly 800 deaths in one recent year alone. These numbers are likely underreported due to the difficulty in determining whether fatigue played a role in an accident.
Fatigue can lead to slower reaction times and decreased awareness, putting other drivers at risk. Truck drivers, who drive long distances and often with tight deadlines, are particularly at risk of falling asleep at the wheel or otherwise operating their vehicles in an unsafe manner due to fatigue. As such, it is important for truck drivers to take precautions and for other drivers to be aware of the danger posed by fatigued truckers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created regulations that apply to trucking companies and truck drivers to protect the safety of everyone on the road, including truck drivers and other motorists. The FMCSA aims to ensure that commercial motor vehicles like trucks operate safely and responsibly.
The Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations limit how many hours a truck driver can be on duty in a given day or week. The HOS Regulations limit how much rest a truck driver must take before returning to the road.
Specifically, truckers are not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours after ten hours off duty, and drivers must take a 30-minute break after eight cumulative hours of driving time. Truckers may not drive after 60 hours on duty in seven consecutive days or 70 hours on duty in eight consecutive days. However, they may restart the seven/eight consecutive-day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
Signs That a Truck Driver May Be Too Tired to Drive
Overly fatigued truck drivers pose a serious risk to other motorists on the road. Therefore, truckers and others on the road need to be aware of the signs that a truck driver may be too tired to drive safely.
The most common signs that a truck driver is fatigued include:
- Unusually slow reactions: A tired truck driver may not be able to react quickly enough to changing traffic patterns or emergencies to avoid a crash.
- Making frequent stops: Truckers who are tired may need frequent stops to rest or grab a coffee to stay alert.
- Drifting into other lanes: When driving, a trucker who is fatigued may drift into other lanes due to an inability to focus or stay awake.
- Swerving: Swerving can indicate impaired judgment due to fatigue or drowsiness.
- Erratic braking: Erratic braking is also a sign of a fatigued trucker, as it can indicate that the driver struggles to stay alert and focused.
Compensation Available for Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Victims
When a truck driver is found to be fatigued and at fault for an accident, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses associated with the accident.
What to Do If A Fatigued Truck Driver Injures You
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Indianapolis caused by a fatigued truck driver, there are certain steps you should take to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Call 911: Call the police right away after being involved in a truck accident. The police will investigate and document the scene of the accident. They will also issue a report, which can be used as evidence in your case.
- Seek medical treatment: Seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Even if you don’t feel any immediate pain or discomfort, it is vital to get checked out by a medical professional. It is common for injuries to show up days or even weeks after a motor vehicle crash, so get a complete evaluation soon after the accident.
- Document the accident: Make sure to take pictures of the scene and record contact information from witnesses, if there were any. You should also document your medical treatment and keep copies of all your medical bills.
- Contact an experienced attorney: Truck accidents can be complex because of the potential for numerous at-fault parties. The driver could have been fatigued because their employer required them to drive beyond the HOS requirements, in which case, the trucking company could be liable. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, contact an experienced Indianapolis truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Hankey Marks & Crider has the knowledge and experience necessary to fight for the rights of those injured by negligent truck drivers. Our lawyers can pursue the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injury.