In West Virginia, large trucks and semi-trailers play a significant role in the economy and the transportation of products. The men and women who drive these vehicles have important jobs, but they are often behind the wheel for long periods at a time. When a truck driver is exhausted behind the wheel, he or she is likely too tired to drive safely.
Drowsy driving greatly increases the chances of a car accident, much like drunk driving or distracted driving. There are certain regulations in place intended to reduce the number of consecutive hours that a trucker can drive, but sometimes, truckers still drive while dangerously sleepy. When tired drivers cause harm to innocent motorists, it may be appropriate to take action through a civil claim.
The dangers of tired truckers
Truck drivers operate large and heavy vehicles. Commercial trucks and semi-trailers are significantly heavier than regular passenger vehicles, and they can cause great harm in even low-speed collisions. Drowsy driving kills thousands of people every year, and truck drivers are particularly susceptible to this type of dangerous behavior. Consider the following facts:
- Truckers often face deadlines and pressure from employers to deliver loads as quickly as possible, which can lead to a higher chance of drowsy driving.
- Commercial drivers should adhere to standards set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which allows for a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel after a certain number of hours off.
- Drowsy driving makes a trucker less capable of stopping quickly and reacting appropriately while driving.
- Exhaustion can make it difficult to focus and make safe decisions behind the wheel.
If you suffered injuries in an accident that you believe was the result of a drowsy truck driver, you have options. Truckers and trucking companies are liable for damages caused by drivers who were exhibiting any type of negligent behavior.
Recovery through a personal injury claim
A personal injury claim cannot reverse what happened to you, but it can help you rebuild your life and address certain accident-related needs. If you believe you may have grounds to move forward with a civil claim, it is helpful to first seek an evaluation of your case and an explanation of your options.
It can be confusing and intimidating to take on a trucking company or other liable parties after an accident, but you do not have to walk through this process without the necessary support and legal guidance.