Fatigued Truck Drivers in Auburn Accidents

Crashes with massive semi-trucks are almost always severe, causing life-threatening or fatal injuries and property damage. Therefore, federal and state laws closely regulate trucking companies and the drivers they employ.

The federal hours of duty statute sets the maximum time a trucker can remain behind the wheel during one shift and the entire week, depending on the number of hours they work. Sadly, fatigued truck drivers in Auburn accidents are all too common. Schedule an appointment with a qualified tractor-trailer crash attorney if the careless actions of a truck operator led to your harm.

Truck Driver Fatigue in Lewiston-Auburn

Truck driver pay is often based on mileage rather than hours, making completing the tips quickly essential. The safe operation of commercial trucks is challenging under the best conditions, and drivers must remain alert and cautious.

Even so, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA, over half report that they often experience fatigue while behind the wheel, which is the leading cause of commercial truck traffic accidents. Risks associated with commercial truck operation after a lack of sleep include:

  • Errors from confusion and a decline in cognitive performance
  • Unsafe driving maneuvers and decisions
  • Speeding or taking turns too fast
  • Reckless actions, such as following too closely or failing to check the vehicle’s blind spots

The result of inadequate sleep and rest is often impaired performance and mental and physical exertion, causing slower reaction times and delayed breaking or taking action for potential hazards in the roadway. A lawyer with experience handling claims involving fatigued truck drivers in Auburn crashes could review legal action options and answer specific questions after an initial case review.

Federal Truck Driver Hours of Duty Guidelines

Trucker fatigue has long been a significant concern countrywide, dating back to 1937 when lawmakers released the first truck driver hours of service rules. Many additions have been made, such as log books and technology to track hours in recent years. Under the Code of Federal Regulations § 395, the current hours of duty guidelines are as follows:

  • 11 hours is the maximum time a trucker may drive after remaining off-duty for ten consecutive hours to rest
  • When poor weather or other conditions extend the maximum truck operation time, they may not remain behind the wheel for longer than 14 hours under any circumstance
  • Truckers may extend hours behind the wheel by two hours when they encounter adverse weather and driving conditions
  • Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break for every eight hours they operate the vehicle
  • The maximum driving time for a seven-day week is 60 hours, and 70 hours for an eight-day week

An attorney knowledgeable about Lewiston-Auburn accidents and fatigued truck drivers knows which records and logs to request to determine compliance during the event.

Electronic Logging Devices

Truck manufacturers and companies install electronic logging devices ELDs into the engines of commercial trucks to record hours of operation automatically. The technology replaced the manual log books that federal laws used to require drivers to update every shift.

Speak to an Auburn Attorney After an Accident With a Fatigued Truck Driver

Unfortunately, many avoidable crashes, countrywide, occur because truck drivers do not get enough rest before their shift. The incidents are entirely preventable and commonly have devastating consequences for everyone involved. A massive truck collision can leave you with painful injuries, emotional trauma, and property damage.

When collisions happen because a trucker or the company they work for fails to adhere to federal regulations, the civil court will hold them financially accountable. Call a hard-working lawyer familiar with cases involving fatigued truck drivers in Auburn accidents for more information and help with your case.