Truck Wreck Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
It is no secret that the life of a tractor-trailer driver is often not an easy one. Truck drivers spend countless hours on the road driving long distances, all while functioning on minimal sleep as they try to meet often near-impossible delivery schedules. But fatigued truck drivers put commuters in Arizona and across the country in extreme peril. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a truck wreck lawyer Phoenix, AZ clients recommend to see what legal options you may have.
Multiple studies have been conducted on the effect lack of sleep has on truck drivers. One extensive study was conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The FMCSA is the federal agency that has oversight and issues regulations over the trucking industry. According to the study, almost 15 percent of serious truck accidents are caused by truck drivers operating their vehicles while fatigued.
When a driver is driving fatigued, one danger is drifting into other lanes without even realizing it. If there is another vehicle in the lane when the truck enters it – as often happens – the result of the 80,000 plus tractor-trailer slamming into a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic.
Rules on Truck Driver Operating Hours
A truck accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ victims trust knows how dangerous overworked and exhausted truck driver is to everyone they share the road with. This is why the government has imposed regulations that specify how many hours truck drivers are allowed to operate their vehicles and how many hours of rest time they must take before they go back on the road.
The FMCSA requires that truck drivers adhere to the following operating hours:
- Can operate for a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Cannot drive beyond a 14th consecutive hour after coming off duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Must take a 30-minute break if they have driven for eight cumulative hours without a minimum of 30-minute interruptions.
- Cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. The driver can restart a 7/8 period if they have taken a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off duty.
The FMCSA also requires drivers to document all of their breaks in logbooks. In the event of a crash, a logbook can be a critical piece of evidence for the victim’s attorney to use against those responsible for the victim’s losses.
This raised the question about truck accident liability. While a truck driver operating a truck while fatigued may have caused the accident, there are other parties who can also be held liable. This is also true for truck accidents caused by other factors, such as driver error, overloaded truck, defective truck part, mechanical failure, and more.
Some of the possible at-fault parties who can be legally deemed as liable for the victim’s losses include:
- The driver
- The truck’s owner
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The company leasing the truck if it is a leased vehicle
- The cargo company that loaded the truck
- Truck part manufacturer
- Company that maintains and repairs the truck (if not in-house)
To learn more about what legal recourse you may if you have been injured in a truck accident, call Kamper & Estrada, PLLC to speak with a skilled truck wreck lawyer in Phoenix, AZ.