Auto accidents are among the most dangerous and potentially deadly of all personal injury accidents, claiming tens of thousands of lives and causing millions of non-fatal injuries each year. Accidents caused by big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial trucks are particularly hazardous, if only by virtue of the sheer size and weight of these enormous vehicles compared to the cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles with which they share the road. Factor in the negligence of truck drivers and the companies that employ them, and you have a true recipe for disaster.
One of the most common and preventable causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. There are federal laws in effect that regulate how many hours a truck driver:
- May work in a day: 14
- May drive in a day: 11
- May work in a week on average: 70
- Must rest after reaching 70 hours in a week before resuming work
If a truck driver violates these regulations of his or her own volition and an accident occurs, he or she may be held liable for the damages related to any injuries or deaths that result. If the truck driver was pressured by his or her employer to violate these regulations, then the employer may be held liable, separately or in conjunction with the driver.
At the law firm of Winegar Wilhelm Glynn & Roemersma in New Jersey, truck accidents and fatigue have given rise to several of the claims we have successfully handled on behalf of injured victims and their families. We have the skills, resources, and pure tenacity, not to mention the intimate knowledge of both state and federal laws, to win even the most complex truck accident cases. We would be honored to put our legal talents to work for you.
Truck Driver Fatigue in the Spotlight
If it seems as though you've been hearing about the problem of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue in the media relatively often lately, it's probably due to the accident involving comedian and television star Tracy Morgan and six other occupants of a Mercedes Sprinter Limousine on June 7, 2014. The accident was caused when the operator of a Walmart tractor-trailer allegedly dozed off behind the wheel after not having slept for more than 24 hours. Morgan and two others were severely injured while comedian James McNair was killed. Morgan has since filed a lawsuit against Walmart alleging that the company knew or should have known that the truck driver had not gotten sufficient rest to handle the assignment he had been given.
Truck Driver Fatigue in Our Own Backyard
Aside from being in the national spotlight recently, truck driver fatigue remains an ever-present danger in our very own Garden State. In fact, in Warren County alone, thousands of trucks pass through every day on the busy Interstates 78 and 80. While most truckers are good, law-abiding citizens who are essential contributors to the health of our economy, those who violate federal regulations are putting other drivers and passengers at serious risk.
Be vigilant out there. And if you have been injured in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue and need a strong legal advocate on your side, please contact our personal injury law firm today.