Truck Driver Fatigue in San Antonio 

Trucking accidents in Texas are traced back to many different safety issues, including truck driver errors and unsafe trucks. One major issue that is often seen in the trucking industry is truck driver fatigue. Truck drivers who drive while drowsy or fall asleep behind the wheel can cause catastrophic or fatal accidents. If you get injured in this type of crash, a San Antonio truck accident attorney can help you seek justice.

The Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck driver fatigue can lead to a loss of driver attention, decreased reaction times, poor decision making and failures in overall driver performance. A truck driver who feels tired while driving can make deadly mistakes, such as following others too closely, speeding, unintentionally entering another lane or running a red light. A fatigued truck driver may also fall asleep behind the wheel, leading to serious accidents such as high-speed rear-end collisions, override accidents and head-on collisions.

How Common Is Truck Driver Fatigue?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 5,700 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2021. This was an 18 percent increase from 2020. Although data on truck driver fatigue is limited due to trouble confirming this as the cause of a fatal crash, one study found that around 13 percent of fatal truck accidents were associated with truck driver fatigue. If this statistic is accurate, this means that about 741 of the fatal collisions involving large trucks in 2021 could be connected to truck driver fatigue.

Why Is Fatigue Such a Major Issue in Commercial Trucking?Commercial truck drivers have a history of struggling with drowsiness. The nature of a career in long-haul trucking means long hours on the road alone, overnight drives and reversed sleep schedules, sleeping in uncomfortable places such as a sleeper berth on the side of the road, and diet and exercise issues that contribute to sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. All of these issues culminate in a high risk of truck driver drowsiness and fatigue.

How Can Truck Driver Fatigue Be Prevented?

Truck drivers can use many proven techniques to avoid fatigue on the job. One of the most important is adhering to the FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations. These federal rules are specifically in place to prevent truck driver fatigue. They set maximum driving limits that all commercial truck drivers must follow.

The hours-of-service limits include:

  • 11 hours of driving maximum after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
  • 14 consecutive hour limit after coming on-duty
  • 30-minute break required after driving for 8 cumulative hours
  • 60/70 hour driving limit in 7/8 consecutive days

In addition, the FMCSA recommends fatigue-fighting strategies such as getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, only driving during hours when the trucker feels naturally awake, diagnosing and treating medical conditions such as sleep apnea, and pulling over and sleeping in a safe place if the driver becomes drowsy.

How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

If you were recently hurt in a truck accident in San Antonio that was caused by a drowsy, tired or fatigued truck driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your losses. This can include payment for your physical injuries, medical bills, and vehicle repairs or replacement. You may be able to hold one or more parties liable, or financially responsible, for contributing to the drowsy driving crash.

Consult with a San Antonio personal injury attorney to discuss your right to recover compensation in detail. An experienced truck accident attorney in San Antonio can help you go up against a trucking company or another party in pursuit of just compensation. You can trust an attorney to seek maximum compensation on your behalf so that you can move forward with greater peace of mind after your truck accident. Contact Dollar, Burns, Becker, and Hershewe today.

Awards & Accolades