Residents across Rochester and New York State rely on commercial truck drivers to transport the food, equipment, materials, and other goods we depend on. What we may not realize is that truck operators often have to travel thousands of miles within a short period to meet strict deadlines. This may mean forgoing adequate rest and sleep in order to deliver on time.
The extended periods of isolation, irregular schedules, payment by the mile, and other factors can leave truck drivers fatigued and at risk of causing a drowsy driving accident. Have you or someone you loved been injured in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver? If so, you should not have to pay the price of someone else’s negligence.
At Cellino Law, our trusted truck collision attorneys in Rochester can help you recover just and fair compensation for your losses. Our law firm is ready to put our six decades of experience and success to work for you. Contact us today at (800) 555-5555 for your free consultation to learn how we can help.
Why is Truck Driver Fatigue Dangerous?
Operating a truck or other motor vehicle while fatigued is often referred to as “drowsy driving.” Why is fatigued driving so dangerous? When a driver is sleep-deprived, he or she is not only at greater risk of falling asleep while behind the wheel, but his or her cognitive and physical functions may also be affected.
Studies have shown that driving while drowsy is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can impair a driver in a variety of ways, including:
- Reduced reaction times
- Impaired judgment
- Difficulty focusing
- Increased forgetfulness
- Inability to process information quickly
- Impaired vision or “tunnel vision”
- Decreased alertness
- Difficulty staying in the right lane
- Decreased ability to judge speed and distance
The operation of a motor vehicle requires alertness and focus. Tired truck drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone around them.
Common Causes of Rochester, NY Truck Driver Fatigue
Commercial truck driving can be a high-pressure job. If a truck driver is running behind schedule, it can affect the companies waiting for their deliveries. If the companies are dissatisfied with the service the driver has provided, they may complain to the trucking company. As a result, truckers could face pressure to perform better from their employers.
Operators of commercial vehicles are often overworked and exhausted due to these demands. The following are some factors that could contribute to truck driver fatigue.
Driving for too long
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the NY Department of Transportation have implemented hours of service regulations that all commercial truck drivers are required to follow.
The following hours of service regulations apply to New York truck drivers:
- After 10 consecutive hours off-duty, a trucker can drive for a maximum of 11 hours
- The 11 hours of maximum driving must fall within a maximum of 14 hours total on duty, following 10 hours off-duty
- After driving consecutively for 8 hours, a driver must take at least a 30-minute break before continuing to drive
- Truckers may not drive after accumulating a total of 60 hours of driving time over a period of 7 days or after 70 hours on duty over the course of 8 days
Unfortunately, many trucking companies and their drivers ignore these hours of service regulations. Most drivers get paid by the mile, not the hour. This creates an incentive for drivers to keep going without sleep, even when they are dangerously fatigued.
Irregular sleep patterns
You will see commercial trucks on the road in Rochester, NY, at any time during the day or night. Some truck drivers work a day shift one week and night shift the following week. This irregular shift pattern disrupts the body’s internal clock and can be a shock to the system.
As a result, a person may suddenly become tired at a time when behind the wheel and be forced to try and stay alert. The constantly changing sleep pattern can also lead people to be unable to fall asleep at times when they need to.
A truck driver may go to work even when sick with the flu, a cold, or another illness. Fatigue is the body’s natural response to illness, as the body is working hard to fight off the infection or virus, leaving little energy for anything else. The driver may spend the day feeling drained and struggling to stay awake.
In addition, some truckers may suffer from sleep apnea or other disorders that affect the quality of their sleep. When left untreated, these health conditions can increase the risk of a drowsy driving accident occurring.
Alcohol and medications
Tragically, many commercial truck drivers use alcohol and other substances to cope with boredom, stress, depression, exhaustion, and other issues. Other truckers consume stimulants to try to stay awake and work longer hours.
The American Addiction Centers reported that a shocking 27 percent of truck drivers consumed amphetamines and other drugs. Alcohol and drugs can negatively impact a person’s driving skills and put others on the road at risk of injury or death.
How a Rochester, NY Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
After being injured in a truck accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do to recover compensation for your losses. The trusted truck accident lawyers at Cellino Law can provide you with support and legal guidance during this difficult time.
As your personal injury lawyers, we can take the following actions on your behalf.
After taking on your case, our legal team will launch a thorough investigation into the cause of your truck accident.
We can identify all liable parties, which may include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Other drivers
- Government entities
In some situations, more than one party may have been negligent and responsible for your injuries. Cellino Law’s truck accident lawyers will file a claim or lawsuit against all liable parties.
At Cellino Law, we have successfully handled many truck accident cases in Rochester and throughout the State of New York. We know what type of evidence is needed to build a solid case for our clients.
For example, commercial truck drivers are required to keep logs of the hours they work and the miles they drive. However, trucking companies and their employees may lie or fake the numbers on these logs to work longer hours and meet delivery deadlines. Our legal team will review these logs, looking for irregularities or proof that shows the driver worked beyond the allowed hours of service regulations.
Negotiating a settlement
The majority of trucking accident cases are settled out of court during negotiations with the insurance company. Our personal injury attorneys are excellent negotiators and will not back down until you receive the money you deserve.
This may include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
If your claim cannot be settled during negotiations, Cellino Law’s attorneys are trial-ready and will present your case before a judge or jury if necessary.
Contact a Rochester, NY Truck Accident Lawyer Today
When truck drivers break hours of service regulations and engage in dangerous driving behaviors that put others at risk, they should be held liable for their actions. If you or a loved one has been severely injured by a drowsy truck driver, our law firm is here to help.
At Cellino Law, we care about our clients and want to make a difference in their lives. Our truck accident lawyers understand how important financial compensation is after an accident. With over $2 billion won for our clients and 60 years of experience, you can trust us to handle your truck accident case successfully.
Contact our law office 24/7 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.