Seattle Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyers
No one wants to travel roads alongside fatigued truck drivers. And yet, this is happening every day, all across our nation. A 2007 report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that truck driver fatigue causes serious injury and fatality accidents.
Have you or someone you love been in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue? Let Premier Law Group help! You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Our experienced truck accident attorneys know how trucking companies operate. Their goal is to place blame on the victims and not pay claims.
Let us negotiate for you, while you focus on getting well. Call Premier Law Group today at 206.285.1743 for a Free Consultation! One of our expert auto accident attorneys will be happy to see how we can help!
Common Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents
Truckers are prone to fatigued driving. The most common causes are:
- Irregular Work Schedules: Dependent on who the trucker works for, drivers will drive all day, all night, or both.
- Abnormal Sleep Hours: Irregular work hours means constantly adjusting sleep hours, in order to meet the delivery demands. This leads to sleep deprivation and falling asleep at the wheel.
- Sedentary Work Life: Truckers have to meet delivery deadlines or be penalized. They sit behind the wheel for hours on end. There’s no opportunity for exercise. There are few healthy places where drivers can get healthy food.
- Poor Health: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a nationwide health survey of truckers. They found that drivers suffer from obesity, diabetes, lung disease, and sleep deprivation.
In addition, the average age for a long haul trucker is 50 years old. At least one-third of truckers have no health insurance. On the whole, truckers are people with poor health. They pose significant harm to themselves, and to the public.
Washington State Law and Truck Driver Fatigue
First, the Washington State Department of Licensing’s Commercial Driver Guide speaks at length about driver fatigue. The guide describes the dangers, warning signs, and ways for truckers to safely deal with fatigue.
Second, the state partnered with federal regulators to setting truck driver Hours of Service (HOS) and maintenance of drivers logs.
For example, truckers in Washington State cannot drive after:
- Driving 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- Being on-duty for 14 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- Being on-duty for 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
- Truckers must take a 30-minute rest break after 8 consecutive hours of driving.
- Drivers must keep detailed logs of their trip activities and turn over these logs to police when asked.
The regulations have good intentions. But statistics show that they are not adhered to.
Statistics of Truck Driver Fatigue
More recently, truck crash injury accidents and fatalities are on the rise. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported some alarming facts about large truck accidents.
- Large trucks cause more multiple-vehicle crashes than passenger cars.
- 10% of people injured in a large truck crash will die.
- 1% of truck drivers are over the legal alcohol limit in fatality crashes
- 5% of fatal truck accidents, truck drivers have alcohol in their system
- Fatality crashes rose by 5% the past two years
- Injury crashes rose by 22% in the past two years.
What can the driving public do, to protect themselves when on the roads with truck drivers in Seattle?
Driving Safe in Seattle With Truck Drivers
There are many things you can do to drive safely alongside big rigs on the roads.
First and foremost – be aware! Trucks have blind spots on all four sides. Give them plenty of road room. Do not tailgate. Do not cut trucks off on the roadways. Always be extra careful when driving in bad weather near trucks.
Second – be a good driver yourself. Do the following:
Avoid Late Night Driving: Truck drivers fall asleep when driving lonely roads late at night. Give them extra car lengths. And watch for drowsy driving – crossing over driving lanes or sudden braking. Call 911 immediately when you see a truck driving like this. The life you save may be your own.
Don’t Drive “Fatigued”: Rest before long driving trips. Only drive during your normal waking hours. Take rest stop breaks every 2 hours. Don’t rely on caffeine to keep you awake. If you get sleepy, pull off and find an overnight place to stay.
Respect Truckers: Truckers are a vital part of our economy. Give them the space to do their jobs safely.
Talk With An Experienced Seattle Truck Accident Attorney
After a horrific accident with a fatigued truck driver, most people are in shock. If you’re lucky, you may be able to leave the accident scene. But it’s a mistake to think that you are okay. You probably are not “okay.”
It’s vital that you get a full medical doctor examination after an accident like this one. These accidents are notorious for causing serious brain injuries or soft tissue injuries that may not be apparent until hours later. At the least, the doctor can write up examination results, which you will need in order to file claims with the trucking company.
The next step is to talk with an experienced Seattle Truck Accident Attorney. Someone’s reckless driving has caused your injuries. Under Washington State law, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries and damages.
Contact a Dedicated Seattle Truck Accident Attorney
Premier Law Group will help you! Don’t sign off on an insurance claim until you talk with us. Focus on healing, and let us collect evidence and handle all claim details. Our job is to build a strong case and negotiate on your behalf, and we won’t stop fighting until we’ve won!
Call 206.285.1743 Today! Schedule your FREE Accident Case Review!