Truck Driver Fatigue

Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer

Atlanta truck accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert has over 20 years of experience representing personal injury victims throughout Georgia. Named one of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers,” Mr. Ozcomert is a veteran at handling truck accident claims, including those arising from driver fatigue. He aggressively pursues commercial carriers and other responsible parties, and will fight to recover all the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Truck Driver Fatigue Statistics

Truck drivers cite falling asleep at the wheel as the number one reason for large-scale crashes. About 41% of commercial drivers admit to dozing off on their shifts, endangering others on the road. Fatigue on long-haul trips causes 65% of fatal crashes, and human error is responsible for over 87% of all truck accidents. With 1 in 4 truckers dozing on duty, fatigue remains a serious safety issue. With less than 5 hours of sleep per night, many truckers continue to endanger other users of the road and cause collisions.

Sleep Deprivation and Performance

Driver fatigue and working overtime are related. Although drivers are expected to respect hours of service rules, many feel pressure to drive for longer times. This means spending over 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel, and surpassing the on-duty hours maximum to get the job done. Sleep loss can impair driving abilities in many ways, and can result in:

  • Having same effect as drunk driving
  • Diminished information-processing
  • Lack of alertness to serious danger
  • Higher incidence of distraction
  • Decreased performance skills
  • 50% slower response times
  • Propensity for drug use
  • Attention deficit
  • Memory loss

Driving an 18-wheeler or multi-trailer combination vehicle while tired is a deadly combination. Truck accidents dwarf other collisions in force, magnitude, and the total number of vehicles involved. Devastating truck accidents caused by driver fatigue often involve:

  • Rollovers
  • Jackknifes
  • Falling debris
  • Chemical spills
  • Release of toxins
  • Speeding, braking
  • Flammable material
  • Driving in wrong lane
  • Chain-reaction collisions
  • Front, side-impact crashes
  • Maneuvering turns on an incline
  • Permanent injury, wrongful death

Although exhaustive evidence shows that fatigue increases a driver’s crash risk by four to six times, the trucking industry has been slow to respond. In addition to fewer rest stops, many companies continue to stress timely delivery over rest. They often disregard hours-of-service violations, preferring to pay a fine, and frequently lack the basic safeguards to enforce these standards. Contact Atlanta fatigue accident lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert if you have been involved in a truck accident resulting from driver sleep deprivation.

Commercial Carrier Liability

Federal and state laws impose liability on both the fatigued driver and the negligent carrier. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act has published new rules to increase off-duty service hours and lower time behind the wheel to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities caused by fatigue. But motor carriers must do more to enforce these rules so that their drivers do not endanger others. This shared responsibility is reflected in the personal injury liability that can be imposed upon the businesses, contractors, and employers that operate the fleet, not just the negligent driver. If found liable, these parties must compensate victims for any bodily injury or wrongful death caused by the fatigue related accident.

Recovering Compensation

If you were injured in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue, contact Atlanta personal injury lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert for help. With offices in Atlanta and Decatur, he has successfully handled complex truck accident cases involving multiple liable parties and their insurers. Using his knowledge of federal and state trucking laws, Mr. Ozcomert is dedicated to recovering the compensation you deserve. Call (404) 370-1000 for a free consultation or contact us online.