Truck Driver Fatigue is Dangerous and Deadly: New Mexico Trucking Accident Lawyer Explains Why
Box trucks like semi tractor trailers, big rigs, 18 wheelers, and other large commercial trucks are very dangerous when they are operated with the due care and attention they need. It is just a simple fact that they are large, heavy, and more difficult to maneuver than a smaller, passenger vehicle. They take longer to slow down and are harder to turn within a narrow space. These are just simply facts. This is why a fatigued truck driver who has a delayed reaction, or no react at all, can turn one of these dangerous big rigs into a deadly 18 wheeler causing a fatal New Mexico trucking accident.
But this is a known risk. Federal regulations, which apply throughout all states including New Mexico, create hours of service limitations for truck drivers to comply with to help remove fatigued drivers. These regulations are included in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations. The important rules that all commercial drivers must follow include the following:
- A maximum shift length of 14 hours on duty;
- A minimum of 10 hours off duty after a shift;
- A maximum of 11 hours of actual driving time during a 14 hour shift;
- A maximum of 8 hours of actual driving time before a minimum 30 minute break is required;
- A maximum of 60 hours on duty during any seven consecutive days; and
- A maximum of 70 hours on duty during any eight consecutive days.
A truck driver who violates these hours of service provisions is not just breaking federal regulations, but also endangering all of us who are on or near the roadway.
New Mexico Trucking Accidents Caused by Fatigued Drivers
Fatigued drivers create two main issues. The first is the most obvious, which is a driver falling asleep at the wheel. When this occurs, that large commercial truck becomes an unguided missile. Anything in its path can be catastrophically injured because there is no driver input to slow down, brake, stop, or avoid a collision.
The second is less obvious, which is impaired driving. Like alcohol or drugs, driving while fatigued can result in delayed reactions or poor judgment. This is particularly dangerous for a large commercial vehicle because these 18 wheelers already require an extended period of time to stop. Any further delay will result in significantly more difficulty to safely stop in time to avoid the collision.
Victims of New Mexico Trucking Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers Who Fell Asleep
If a truck driver causes a New Mexico trucking accident resulting in personal injuries or the wrongful death to a victim, the truck driver and trucking company may be liable for all pain and suffering, medical bills, future surgeries, lost wages, and other damages. This is true even if the truck driver is not from New Mexico.
Please call our law firm to learn what your rights are today. Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys can help protect your rights to compensation in a FREE consultation. Please call to schedule your free appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.