Louisiana Truck Driver Fatigue Attorneys
Truck Driver Fatigue is Very Real and Very Dangerous. Weighing 20-30 times as much as an average car, large commercial trucks are a necessary hazard on our Louisiana highways. But when the operator of such a big truck is drowsy or experiencing fatigue, the dangers far outweigh any benefits.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 13% of big rig drivers involved in collisions while on the job were considered to be fatigued. It is important to note that driver fatigue is difficult to determine or prove, and that this figure is likely lower than reality. However, the fact remains that tired truck drivers are a real threat to drivers in passenger vehicles.
If you have been in a big truck accident caused by a fatigued driver, the semi-truck accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys want to hear from you. Give us a call or fill out our online case evaluation for a free consultation about your specific case. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Causes Truck Driver Fatigue?
Driving a truck commercially rarely involves a regular set schedule. Between long shifts (up to 11 hours a day) and strict itineraries, it is not surprising that many professional drivers regularly struggle with fatigue. While federal regulations and improved safety technology are being developed to reduce the number of drowsy drivers on the roads, certain causes are harder to combat than others. Some of the most common reasons a truck driver might become fatigued in the course of their job include the following:
- Inconsistent Schedules and Unconventional Hours
Truckers work unconventional, sometimes long, hours compared to those of most professions, and this is perhaps the biggest contributing factor to the fatigue they experience. Rotating shift schedules and tight delivery windows often result in inadequate time off for a driver to get the proper amount of sleep.
- Nighttime Driving and Sleep Inertia
It has been shown that truck accidents are more likely to occur as a result of driver fatigue between midnight and sunrise. Much of this fatigue is caused by sleep inertia, when a driver continues to display symptoms of fatigue even after waking up. The risk of large truck wrecks happening in the wee hours is all too real.
- Illnesses or Sleep Disorders
Truck drivers, like all people, may suffer from specific diseases or disorders that can increase their likelihood of experiencing fatigue while driving. Some, like sleep apnea or insomnia, specifically affect one’s ability to get proper, restful sleep. Others, like a cold or the flu, trigger the body’s immune response, which can also induce drowsiness or fatigue.
- Medication or Drugs
Medication that a truck driver chooses to take to combat an illness can often cause side effects that negatively influence their ability to drive safely. Many cold and flu medications warn specifically about experiencing potential drowsiness as a result of taking them, as do numerous prescription drugs. Additionally, a driver may be under the influence of illegal narcotics which can heavily alter their ability to focus and react appropriately.
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Types of Compensation for a Truck Accident Involving Driver Fatigue
The total compensation for truck driver fatigue accident cases can vary widely, depending on factors like the share of responsibility for the collision or the severity of injuries incurred. In most cases, there are certain damages for which a victim can pursue compensation. Quite often, this comes in the form of a settlement, but it may also be imposed by a court.
Some of the most common recoverable losses involved in truck driver fatigue claims are:
- Medical Bills
- Lost income
- Reduced income
- Property damage and repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Speak With an Experienced Truck Driver Fatigue Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a big truck accident in Louisiana where driver fatigue was the main contributing factor, call the truck driver fatigue lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys right away. After a collision with an 18-wheeler, you should be able to focus on recovery, and not worry about how you will be able to afford it. You need a truck wreck attorney who will fight for you while you heal.
We have helped many people from Shreveport to Baton Rouge hold the trucking companies responsible for accidents involving their drivers, and we can help you, too! Call or contact our team to receive a free consultation about your case.
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