Just How Dangerous is Groggy Truck Driving?

Truck Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

Truck Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZTruck drivers are responsible for transporting goods, materials, or chemicals from one destination to another. They often have very strict deadlines and may have to drive for several hours at a time. While they must uphold their duty to get products to their destination timely, they also have a duty to operate the commercial truck in a safe way when sharing the road with other vehicles. One of the main culprits of truck accidents is truck driver sleepiness. In the article to follow, we have answered questions about how and why a groggy truck driver is so dangerous.

Why is truck driver fatigue such a threat to other drivers?
The average commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the standard passenger vehicle typically weighs 3,000 to 5,000 pounds. When considering this huge discrepancy in weight, it is easy to see just how threatening a poorly operated commercial vehicle can be to others on the road. When a truck and passenger car are involved in an accident, the car driver is substantially more likely to endure very serious injuries.

Are there federal guidelines that truck drivers must follow?
Yes, there are a set of federal regulations that set time limits for truck drivers who are traveling. The rules for truck drivers are listed as follows:

  • A driver is permitted to drive 11 non-stop hours within in a 14-hour duration, after being off duty for 10 continuous hours.
  • A driver can drive up to, but not more than 70 hours in an eight-day continuous period.
  • A driver is not permitted to drive more than 14 hours within a 24-hour duration.
  • A driver can drive up to, but not more than, 60 hours in a single week.

Do truck drivers ever break these regulations?
Due to the stress of meeting deadlines, a truck driver may feel pressured to skip required breaks, meals, and sleeping periods. While truck drivers must log their hours along the way, some drivers lie in order to gain those few extra hours of driving time. A driver who has not had sufficient rest won’t have as quick of a reaction time, could easily drift into another lane, and could even go through brief periods of microsleep while driving.

What exactly is microsleep?
When the body is under extreme exhaustion, microsleep can occur. This is an uncontrollable and very quick episode of sleep that can last from fractions of a second up to 10 full seconds. Microsleep most often happens when a person is trying hard to remain awake, when their body is telling him or her otherwise.

Do victims of truck accidents ever seek legal assistance?
Yes, some people who have been struck by a truck in Phoenix, AZ choose to consult with a truck accident lawyer about their legal options. It is common for a truck accident victim to endure substantial financial and physical damages. In order to try and get repayment for these costs, many people meet with a legal professional about the process of filing a lawsuit.

If you would like more information about this process, call Kamper Estrada, LLP today to arrange a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ drivers trust.