Truck Driver Fatigue in Indiana
A commercial truck driver falling asleep due to driver fatigue can lead to unnecessary risks and and can often lead to accidents that may involve serious injuries, or even death. Over zealous schedules and expectations from commercial trucking companies that encourage drivers to drive long hours, to accomplish unrealistic goals, despite safety risks involved, are the some of the biggest problems behind these big truck crashes in Indiana.
Although the exact causes of fatigued truck driving can be complex, and the truck wrecks are usually a result of many various factors, the most common reason is still the driver’s physical or mental capabilites under too much exhaustion. According to the survey, major factors behind these crashes are fatigue and rushing through traffic to meet the trucking company deadlines. Factors such as driver inexperience, highway conditions, poor weather conditions, and semi-truck design can increase the risk of a big rig crash and most likely involve a passenger vehicle.
Truck driver fatigue can be the result of any or all the following; lack of sleep, working overtime or loading/unloading heavy cargo. A fatigued truck driver is often overloaded on coffee or one of many heavily caffeinated energy drinks to keep them going. These stimulants may hide the true level of fatigue until the truck driver becomes somewhat hypnotized by the highway and suddenly falls asleep. Then you have an out of control semi-truck truck, heading unguided into traffic or smashing into the back of passenger vehicles.
Laws Passed to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue in Indiana
Interstate truck drivers are subject to Hours of Service (HOS) limits and are required by Federal Law to keep records of all their time spent on the road, on duty but not driving and the time they are off duty. The law allows a driver a maximum of 11 consecutive hours on the road followed by a mandatory break of 10 hours or more. A maximum total of 14 hours combined driving and non-driving work is permitted.
Before a truck drivers driving schedule, the work they must do can be physically exhausting. Some truckers are very involved in the loading and unloading of the cargo in their trucks. Despite the regulations, many drivers spend 12-14 hours on the road plus an additional 4-5 hours of non-driving work without taking a break. Bonuses, and job security with the trucking company, can play a big role in truckers workign over the legal limit, and even doctoring their books, to look legal.
A fatigued driver may become so exhausted that they hallucinate, causing them to break or swerve to avoid non-existent hazards. Their reaction time and judgement can be greatly impaired or they may simply fall asleep at the wheel of the truck.
If You Are Involved in a Truck Crash in Indiana
If you are involved in a truck accident in Indiana, it is important to seek medical attention first. After that, it is important that a qualified truck accident attorney’s services are retained. The experienced truck accident law firm will have the resources to conduct a thorough and lengthy investigation into the facts leading up to the crash.
Trucking companies have their own experienced insurance investigators and highly experienced legal teams who are trained to do everything possible to make sure that the trucker shows not at fault in a truck crash. As a truck accident victim, you or a loved ones may be entitled to damages for past, present and future medical bills, loss of income over a lifetime, rehabilitation, job retraining as well as pain and suffering and possible punitive damages. The experienced truck accident attorney knows the value of your case and will wage a tenacious fight to recover the compensation you deserve.