Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

March 23, 2021

Accidents involving large commercial trucks regularly result in severe injuries for drivers and passengers inside of other vehicles. Unfortunately, the size and weight discrepancy between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles often mean that the injuries in these cases are catastrophic. There are many causes of commercial truck crashes, including truck driver fatigue. Here, our Martinsburg truck accident attorneys want to discuss the most common causes of truck driver fatigue, what you can do if you suspect fatigued driving caused a crash, and who may be held liable in these cases.

Causes of Driver Fatigue

Driving while fatigued is dangerous for everybody, particularly for those who operate large commercial trucks. The very nature of a truck driver’s job certainly exasperates the most common causes of fatigued driving, which include:

  • Poor sleep habits or a lack of sleep
  • Monotonous tasks
  • Erratic sleep schedules
  • Improper use of medications

Additionally, truck drivers have to follow strict hours of service requirements set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Drivers who fail to follow the FMCSA requirements are much more likely to cause accidents than those who abide by the rules.

What to do if Fatigue is the Suspected Cause of a Truck Accident

If you or somebody you love has been involved in a truck accident and you suspect that truck driver fatigue played a role in the incident, you need to let the law enforcement personnel who respond to the scene know your suspicions. Unfortunately, truck accident scenes are often chaotic, and you may have been dealing with injuries.

In the aftermath of an accident, you need to consider contacting a skilled accident lawyer in Martinsburg who can conduct a full investigation into the claim and work to determine whether or not truck driver fatigue played a role in the incident. An attorney can use their resources to uncover the driver’s electronic logging device (ELD) as well as other types of evidence that could show driver fatigue, including video surveillance, the vehicle’s electronic control module (ECM), and any communication the driver had with the trucking company prior to the crash occurring.

Who Is Responsible if a Driver Is Fatigued?

There may be various parties who can be held liable in the event a driver operated while fatigued and caused a crash. Clearly, if it is proven that the driver knowingly operated while fatigued, they may be held liable. However, the company that the driver works for will ultimately have responsibility for the actions of the driver, so long as the driver was operating within the scope of their duties when the crash occurred. The truck company may even be held directly liable for these incidents if they encouraged their driver to operate outside of federal hours of service regulations in order to speed up their delivery.

It is critically important for any person injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company to seek assistance from a skilled attorney as soon as possible. At Manchin Ferretti Injury Law, our attorneys have extensive experience handling these claims, and we are ready to conduct a complete investigation into your case.


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