You may have picked up on certain signs that a truck driver was fatigued at the time of your accident. This is because driving while fatigued carries similar symptoms to driving while intoxicated. However, proving this has its own set of challenges. Follow along to find out how to identify a fatigued truck driver at the time of your accident and how one of the proficient Howard County truck accident attorneys at Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates can help you prove this.
Who is to blame for a fatigued truck driving accident?
You may be quick to blame a truck driver for their drowsiness while behind the wheel. However, you must consider the possibility that a truck driver’s employer is at fault. This is because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has certain rules that trucking companies must abide by when setting up their employees’ schedules. These regulations are to prevent fatigued driving, and they are as follows:
- An employer cannot schedule a truck driver for a shift longer than 14 hours within a 24-hour timeframe.
- An employer cannot schedule a truck driver to be driving longer than 11 hours within a 24-hour timeframe.
- An employer cannot withhold a 30-minute break from a truck driver driving for eight consecutive hours.
- An employer cannot withhold a 10-hour break from a truck driver in between shifts.
So, before you pin your personal injury claim against a truck driver, you may want to obtain a copy of their shift schedule and see if their employer negligently overworked them.
How do I prove that a truck driver was fatigued at the time of my accident?
Unlike testing for alcohol consumption, there is no real means for a law enforcement officer to test for drowsiness at the scene. This is why you may have to take matters into your own hands to point to this as true. Examples are as follows:
- You may take photos and videos of the zigzagging tire marks on the road that address a truck driver’s lack of conscious driving.
- You may collect witness testimony that addresses a truck driver’s lack of conscious driving.
- You may obtain surveillance camera footage of the events that led to your accident.
On top of this, you may point out to the law enforcement officer that the truck driver continues to have an inability to pay attention or even recall the minutes leading up to the accident when giving their statement. You may also address their constant yawning, frequent blinking, heavy eyelids, and overall restlessness.
You must not hesitate to reach out to one of the talented Howard County auto accident attorneys as soon as possible. Our team at Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates will be awaiting your phone call.