It is imperative for drivers to stay awake and alert when operating their trucks. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often required to work long hours that have them driving through the night. While there are strict regulations on when drivers must take breaks and sleep, many forego their rest opportunities due to pressure from their employers to reach their destinations faster.
Fatigued truck drivers in Seattle accidents can cause catastrophic accidents that result in severe or life-altering injuries for all involved. If you were harmed in a truck collision that was not your fault, talk to an experienced attorney at Odama Hart about your compensation options.
How Fatigued Driving Can Affect a Truck Driver
Truck and tractor-trailer drivers face many hazards while on the road. Due to the nature of their job, they may be driving great distances and become fatigued. Drowsy driving can lead to:
- Falling asleep while behind the wheel
- Short-term memory lapses
- Impaired vision
- Impaired judgment concerning speed, distances, exits, and more
- Reduced vigilance for potential road hazards
- Aggression, moodiness, or other behavioral changes
The results of a truck collision can be devastating and even fatal, making it vital that drivers and their employers prioritize breaks and naps. A Seattle attorney could help determine if the side effects of driver fatigue caused a given truck accident.
Driving Hour Limits for Seattle Truck Drivers
Truck drivers must abide by strict time limits according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA). Federal laws overseen by the FMCA dictate how long a truck driver may be on the road.
- Eleven Hour Limit: Drivers may operate a truck for up to eleven hours only after ten consecutive hours off duty.
- Fourteen Hour Limit: A truck driver is not permitted to drive after the fourteenth consecutive hour they are on duty after ten consecutive hours they were not on duty.
- Sixty or Seventy-Hour Limit: Truck drivers may not go over sixty or seventy hours behind the wheel over the course of seven or eight days working. This time limit can restart after thirty-four hours away from driving.
- Requirements for Rest Breaks: Drivers must take a break of thirty minutes for every eight hours or less that they drive.
The regulations above intend to protect the truck driver and others on the road. However, many drivers or their employers purposely forego these rules to speed up deliveries. Failure to follow the limits set forth for driving hours may constitute a violation of the law.
If a truck driver fails to follow these rules and an accident ensues, they may be legally responsible for injuries that result. A Seattle truck accident attorney could help determine if a driver became fatigued due to ignoring the driving hour limits set forth by local law.
Discuss a Fatigued Truck Driver Accident in Seattle with an Attorney Today
Fatigued truck drivers in Seattle accidents significantly contribute to local tractor-trailer wrecks. Driving a truck is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Failure to operate the motor vehicle properly could lead to severe injuries or even death. If a drowsy truck driver caused your suffering, contacting a skilled attorney may be in your best interest.
A dedicated attorney could help you determine the liable party in your collision and pursue compensation from those responsible. Contact Odama Hart today to discover your legal options.