How Tired Truck Drivers Cause Accidents in Gainesville, FL

How Tired Truck Drivers Cause Accidents in Gainesville, FL

Commercial motor vehicles include semi-trucks, delivery vans, buses, and even construction equipment. These vehicles get into thousands of crashes every year in Florida despite the extra training and monitoring commercial truck drivers must have.

Examining truck accidents, including how tired truck drivers cause crashes in Gainesville, FL, determines who bears liability for them. After a truck crashes into your vehicle, a lawyer from Allen Law Firm, P.A. can evaluate your claim so you can pursue compensation.

Call our Gainesville personal injury attorneys at (877) 255-3652 or contact us online for a free initial consultation to learn more.

How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Truck Accident in Gainesville, FL

Allen Law Firm, P.A. has been helping accident victims in Gainesville, Florida fight for fair compensation since the firm was founded in 2007. Since then, our Gainesville truck accident lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our injured clients.

If you get injured in a truck accident, we provide:

  • A free consultation to discuss your injuries and your rights under Florida law
  • Decades of experience fighting insurers for fair settlements
  • Aggressive representation in court if we cannot get a fair settlement offer

A truck accident can cause devastating injuries because of the sheer mass of a commercial motor vehicle. Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your Gainesville truck accident and how you can pursue compensation from the party responsible for it.

How Many Fatigued Drivers Crash Their Trucks?

According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial motor vehicles cause about 141,000 crashes every year

These crashes have a variety of causes, including:

According to the FMCSA study, the truck or truck driver was at fault for over 55% of crashes in the study. In these cases, accident victims could pursue compensation by showing that the cause of the accident resulted from negligence by the trucking company as it loaded, operated, maintained, or repaired its truck fleet.

Fatigued Truck Driving Accidents in Gainesville, Florida

In 2021, Alachua County, home to Gainesville, had 551 commercial motor vehicle crashes, according to the Florida Crash Facts Report. These crashes caused eight deaths and 193 injuries

According to the FMCSA study, drowsy truck drivers caused about 13% of all truck crashes. Applying this number to the 2021 truck crash statistics, about 72 truck accidents in the Gainesville metro area resulted from truck driver fatigue.

Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers are subject to regulations that determine how many hours they can drive and when they must take breaks. Under these rules, drivers can drive for up to 11 hours after taking a ten-hour break. In any 24-hour period, drivers cannot drive more than 14 hours, including meal and rest breaks. Drivers must take 30-minute breaks every eight hours.

In the past, drivers had to manually record their driving and break times in a logbook. These records were susceptible to manipulation, allowing drivers to exceed the hours of service (HOS) rules.

Now, trucks use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to automatically record driving hours. An ELD synchronizes with the truck engine and a GPS device so it knows when the driver is driving or resting.

ELDs have removed one major cause of driver fatigue. Drivers can no longer exceed the HOS by simply manipulating their logbooks.

But driver fatigue can still happen due to the stresses of driving in:

  • Heavy traffic
  • Poor weather
  • Remote locations with nowhere to stop

Even when drivers follow the HOS rules, 11 hours of driving can cause both physical and mental fatigue.

How Fatigue Affects Truck Drivers

Fatigue has many effects, including:

  • Dulling senses
  • Impairing judgment
  • Slowing reflexes

Drivers who fall asleep while driving can lose control of their trucks.

Liability For Crashes Caused By Tired Truck Drivers

The liability for crashes caused by tired drivers will depend on the trucker’s employment. Independent truck drivers are essentially independent contractors. They bear the risk of collisions and the liability for any damage or injuries they cause. As a result, they often carry large liability insurance policies to compensate other road users involved in a crash.

When a truck driver is an employee rather than an independent trucker, the situation changes. Under a doctrine called vicarious liability, employers can be held liable for injuries caused by their employees while performing their job duties. The liability for a crash caused by drowsy driving will probably fall on the trucking company that employed the driver.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Gainesville Truck Accident Attorneys If a Tired Trucker Caused a Crash

Commercial trucks can weigh up to 40 times more than your vehicle. As a result, a collision can cause catastrophic injuries to your body, including brain damage and paralysis. Call Allen Law Firm, P.A. at (877) 255-3652 or contact us online to learn how you can pursue compensation from negligent trucking companies and their drivers in Gainesville, FL.