Driving a commercial truck on Connecticut’s busy roads demands a high degree of attention. A truck driver who becomes too fatigued or drowsy to operate their vehicle safely puts everyone around them at risk.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Connecticut caused by an overly tired driver, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses – and the attorneys at Wocl Leydon want to help you demand it. Contact us today for a free consultation with a truck driver fatigue accident lawyer, and we’ll discuss your options for pursuing justice.
Why You Need Our Lawyers After a Crash with a Tired Trucker
Fatigue is a major cause of traffic accidents nationwide, resulting in at least 50,000 injuries and 800 deaths in one recent year alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But NHTSA is also quick to point out that the numbers, tragic as they are, underestimate the true prevalence of fatigue-related crashes. After all, how can you prove a driver was drowsy behind the wheel?
That’s why it’s so important to work with a skilled truck accident lawyer who knows how to investigate crashes to establish driver fatigue as a contributing factor. When you choose Wocl Leydon, you gain a partner who cares about your case as much as you do. Our attorneys know what evidence to look for after a crash, how to compile it into a strong case, and what it takes to get our clients the total compensation they deserve.
Why Is Trucker Fatigue Dangerous in Connecticut?
Driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, staying awake for over 17 hours can negatively impact a person’s driving ability to the same degree as a BAC of 0.05 percent. Driving fatigue symptoms lead to slower reaction times, worse judgment, and a higher likelihood of simply falling asleep behind the wheel. All of that increases the risk of a sleepy truck driver causing a serious accident.
Drowsy Truck Driver Statistics
To reduce the risk posed by dangerously fatigued truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict hours of service (HOS) rules limiting how long truckers can be behind the wheel without taking a break or resting for the day. Yet even with these regulations in place, drowsy driving remains a major risk factor for truck accidents in Connecticut.
The FMCSA estimates that about 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers involved in accidents were fatigued at the time of the crash. Given the latest statistics, we can extrapolate that in one recent year, about 3,800 truck accidents, 1,130 injury truck accidents, and 85 fatal truck accidents involved a tired trucker.
Regulations on Truck Driver Fatigue in Connecticut
To mitigate the issue of truck driver fatigue, the FMCSA has hours of service (HOS) regulations dictating the working and rest periods for commercial truckers. Compliance with these rules is vital in preventing accidents caused by drowsy driving. Despite this, there have been instances where drivers and companies misrepresent information to sidestep these legal obligations. The experienced attorneys at Wocl Leydon are well-equipped to examine such discrepancies and establish whether any violation has occurred.
Other Causes of Driver Fatigue in Truck Drivers
In addition to violating HOS rules, driver fatigue in truckers stems from a variety of causes, including:
- Nighttime driving – Many truckers drive during off-peak hours to avoid traffic. However, driving at night counters our natural biological clock, which can lead to excessive drowsiness.
- Sleeping in sleeper berths – Although convenient, sleeper berths do not always encourage quality sleep, potentially leading to fatigue.
- Sleep apnea – Over a quarter of truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, which disrupts sleep and hinders rest quality.
- Unhealthy diet – A lack of access to healthy meals on long road trips can decrease alertness and contribute to fatigue.
- Medications – Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs cause drowsiness, affecting a driver’s response times.
How Can You Prove a Trucker Was Too Tired to Drive Safely?
Proving that a trucker was too tired to drive safely requires a thorough investigation of the accident. Our skilled truck accident attorneys can gather crucial evidence such as logbook entries, electronic onboard recorder (EOBR) data, cellphone records, and fuel and meal receipts to establish what a trucker was doing and when. Additionally, we can consult with medical experts to determine if the driver suffered from a medical condition or was taking medication that might have affected their attentiveness behind the wheel.
Who Is Responsible If a Driver Is Fatigued in Connecticut?
Determining responsibility in fatigue-related truck accidents is more complex than it may seem. While the immediate blame often falls on the fatigued truck driver, other entities can also be at fault. For example, the trucking company might be liable if it encouraged or ignored violations of regulations, resulting in a tired truck driver on the road. If the fatigued trucker was an employee – not an independent contractor – the company would be vicariously liable for the trucker’s negligence.
Other parties, such as the truck and trailer’s owner, a repair shop, the cargo loaders, or others could be liable if their negligence contributed to the crash in some way.
Damages You Can Recover After a Fatigued Truck Driver Causes an Accident
Injured in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver? Then you could be entitled to compensation for losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
If you have lost a loved one due to a truck driver fatigue accident, you could be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.
How to Prevent Driver Fatigue in Truck Drivers
Preventing fatigue in truck drivers is pivotal to maintaining road safety. Drivers should:
- Adhere to FMCSA hours-of-service regulations.
- Get as much quality rest as possible.
- Undergo regular health check-ups, particularly for conditions like sleep apnea.
- Eat healthy foods and get exercise.
Trucking companies play a significant role in this as well, ensuring drivers adhere to their mandated rest periods and promoting safe driving practices.
Talk to Our Experienced Connecticut Truck Accident Lawyers
At Wocl Leydon, our philosophy is simple: Fight for the maximum monetary recovery possible for our clients. We understand the havoc a truck accident can wreak on your life, and we are ready to stand by your side in this trying time, providing strong legal representation with a compassionate touch.
Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced Connecticut truck accident lawyers without cost or obligation.