One of the more common ways that a New Mexico truck accident could occur is when a truck driver is fatigued. Driving while fatigued is dangerous for any type of driver, but that is particularly true for operators of large commercial vehicles which are inherently dangerous even with the best of drivers. Fatigued driving slows down reaction speed which increases the distance a truck would need to stop. Fatigue is also more than just feeling sleepy or tired, but fatigue could also mean muscular fatigue in handling the wheel, shifting, and securing cargo. If you or a loved one were seriously injured or wrongfully killed in an Albuquerque, NM trucking accident, ask our experienced lawyers what rights you might have if the truck driver was fatigued.
Established a Fatigued Truck Driver Caused a Crash
While some trucking accidents may be obvious that a fatigued truck driver caused the 18 wheeler wreck, such as when a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, other times it may be more difficult to establish that the truck driver was fatigued or that the fatigue caused the trucking accident. This is because truck driver fatigue could be an issue in a trucking accident and there are no obvious signs other than how the truck driver feels.
For instance, a truck driver may feel physically tired and fatigued but still be in compliance with his or her sleep obligations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Thus, an experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer would need to look at other aspects of how the truck driver was reacting to determine whether fatigue was a cause of a trucking accident. If this can be proven, it may help a personal injury victim.
Proving Fatigue Through Hours of Service Violations
One way to establish truck driver fatigue is through hours of service violations. The hours of service regulations, or HOS, are promulgated by FMCSA and apply to all commercial truck drivers no matter what state he or she is operating in. Violations of hours of service regulations may establish that a truck driver was negligent, or may be used as evidence of negligence against a truck driver to help a personal injury victim prove his or her case.
The pertinent HOS regulations include that truck drivers must comply with the following:
- Keep track for a 24 hour clock;
- No more than 14 of those hours can be on shift;
- At least 10 of those hours must be off shift;
- No more than 8 consecutive hours driving without a 30 minute break;
- No more than 60 hours on duty in any seven consecutive days; and
- No more than 70 hours on duty in any eight consecutive days.
Injured by a Fatigued Truck Driver Causing an Albuquerque, NM Truck Accident? We Can Help
Fatigue is a common cause of many 18 wheeler wrecks, even if it is not immediately obvious that it occurred. Ask us for help to prove your case regarding a possibly fatigued truck driver. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a trucking accident case, please call to schedule your FREE appointment with our lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000.
We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.