Statistics show that drowsy truck drivers cause many truck accidents every year in Maimi, Florida. These accidents do not only include truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. Even fatigue can dull a driver’s senses and impair their judgment.
Although rare, some semi-truck drivers even use illegal or legal drugs to try to battle fatigue, leading to drug-related accidents.
Below, learn about how tired truck drivers cause accidents and what you can do to recover compensation for injuries caused by fatigued driving.
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How Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Accident in Miami
Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers was founded in 2007 to provide legal services to accident victims in Miami. Since that time, the firm’s lawyers have successfully secured hundreds of millions of dollars in injury compensation for our clients.
Our Miami truck accident lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and have received many awards and recognitions, including:
- Board certification in trial law by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy
- Inclusion in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association
- 10 out of 10 rating on Avvo
We can help you after an accident by:
- Apprising you of your legal options at all stages of your case
- Negotiate a settlement agreement on your behalf
- Collect evidence and investigate the extent of your damages
- Bring your case to trial if necessary
Are Tired Truck Driver Accidents Common in Miami?
Miami-Dade County had the most truck accidents among all of the Florida counties in 2020, according to the FLHSMV. The county had 6,291 truck injury accidents that year alone. These accidents resulted in 17 deaths and 1,035 injuries.
The state does not provide information about how many of these accidents resulted from drowsy driving. But trucking companies must report all accidents, including ones that only cause property damage, to the federal government.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), between 20% and 40% of truck accidents across the nation involve driver fatigue. The NTSB cannot narrow it down any more than that broad range because driver fatigue can contribute to an accident even if the driver does not fall asleep at the wheel.
An Overview of Tired Truck Driver Accidents
A semi-truck and trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when it is fully loaded. This means that large vehicles like these take a long time to stop. They can also do much more damage in an accident than smaller passenger vehicles.
When truck drivers suffer from fatigue, their reflexes slow down. They might lose track of the cars around them. They might even doze off, leaving the truck to drift or swerve.
The conditions that create driver fatigue often happen because of the time pressures placed on drivers. Drivers must deliver their loads on a pre-set schedule. If they fail to meet that schedule, employers may be in breach of their contracts with companies ordering a load.
As a result, both drivers and commercial trucking companies may choose to push the limits on the hours that truckers drive. In some cases, they push these limits too far, endangering motorists and violating federal rules on the number of hours truckers can be out on the roads.
Federal Regulations on Hours of Service
Federal regulations set the number of hours that truckers can drive in a single day. These rules are somewhat complicated because they depend upon whether the truck driver is on a local or long-haul route.
These rules set two broad requirements. First, drivers must take regular breaks. For long-haul truckers, they must take breaks for 30 minutes for every eight hours of driving they do.
Secondly, truck drivers can only drive for 14 hours in any 24-hour period. In other words, drivers are allowed to drive up to 14 hours every day as long as they take at least 10 hours for breaks, meals, and sleep.
Federal Regulations on Drug Use and Testing
Truck drivers are subject to random drug testing, as well as drug testing after accidents occur. This testing regimen reduces the incidence of drug use while driving, but it does not eliminate it completely.
Injuries from Truck Accidents Caused by Tired Truck Drivers
Tired operators can create the conditions for severe injuries to occur in an accident. The weight of a semi-truck can cause devastating property damage and injuries. Common injuries include broken bones, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Liability of Trucking Companies When Tired Truck Drivers Cause Accidents
Liability for trucking accidents usually falls on the trucking company. Employers may bear vicarious liability for the acts of their employees while they are on duty. When a trucker falls asleep at the wheel or causes an accident due to drowsiness, the commercial trucking company could bear liability for any resulting accidents.
In some situations, you can also show that the trucking company did something to encourage or facilitate an accident. If a trucking company pushed drivers to exceed their hours of service limits, the trucking company might be liable directly.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Miami Truck Accident Lawyers
Despite efforts to combat tired driving, trucking companies and truck drivers often skirt the rules. When they do, motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists may be the ones to pay the price.
To discuss the injuries you suffered in a truck accident caused by a tired truck driver, contact Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our Miami truck accident lawyers are standing by.