Some dangers of driving while overtired include fatigue, the driver falling asleep, the driver losing control of the vehicle, the driver speeding, going into the opposite lane of travel, and other circumstances where the driver loses control of the vehicle. Learn more about truck driver accidents involving fatigue in Toledo by consulting with a professional attorney. If you have been in an accident and wish to pursue damages because of the negligence of a fatigued driver, and attorney can help.
Preventing Truck Driver Fatigue
The leading cause of a driver fatigue accidents in toledo would be, first of all, that drivers are trying to make more money, and do not follow the regulations. If they follow the regulations, even though it would be safer, they will make less money. Second, there is pressure from the employer and the supplier to get the load to its required destination at a specific date and time. It would be self-imposed pressure as well as pressure from their boss and the supplier.
Under federal regulations, there are only certain periods of time that a driver can drive. The regulations have determined a safe amount of time that a driver of an over-the-road vehicle can drive to prevent truck driver fatigue accidents. The driver has to maintain a log book listing how many hours they were on and how many hours they were off, and sleeping. And the purpose of that is to protect the driver and to protect the public at large.
An experienced attorney would begin the investigation by obtaining the log books from the company and from the driver, which are mandated under federal law. Then they would obtain the bills of lading which would indicate the times and places that they picked up the load and when the load was going to be delivered. They would also review the rules and regulations of the individual company. Interviews of witnesses at the company where the load was picked up and depositions of other drivers for the company would be important to determine the standard requirements of the individual company.
Under Federal Law and Ohio Law, the individual driver would be held to the Federal Motor Carrier Standards. If the driver was not getting adequate sleep, there are criminal statutes under Ohio law that they could be charged with.Those charges could potentially result in suspension or revocation of their Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”).
Examples of Accidents
Driver fatigue could result in serious accidents. Such accidents include:
- Losing control of the vehicle
- Going across the center line
- Rear-ending the vehicle in front of them
- A rollover accident
- Cutting off another individual
These would typically be more serious accidents because the driver was exercising no due care and the consequences could be devastating.
Responsibility on Driver
If somebody is driving for a trucking company, the trucking company would be vicariously liable for the actions of the driver. If the driver is at fault and was within the scope of their employment, the trucking company would be liable for the actions of the individual driver. The individual driver could be held responsible from a traffic or criminal perspective and have individual liability. Also, if the individual truck driver is found responsible for the accident, they are going to have a difficult time keeping their job and/or maintaining a Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”).
Absolved of Responsibility
A truck driver might be absolved of responsibility if witnesses gave different opinions on the fault of for the accident. For example, if the truck driver was charged with speeding and the black box in the truck indicated that this speed was reasonable for the driving conditions, the person could be absolved. Another possibility might be that an accident reconstructionist was hired to figure out how the accident took place and they found persuasive evidence that the cause of the accident was due to the truck driver’s actions.