Understanding Your Rights When Truck Driver Fatigue in a New Mexico 18 Wheeler Wreck Harmed You
Most people know that it is quite unsafe to operate a vehicle while fatigued. In fact, fatigued driving is thought to be as dangerous as drunk driving. While fatigued driving is strongly discouraged for all types of drivers, it is especially true for commercial truck drivers. Commercial truck drivers are specially trained and have even more of a responsibility to other drivers to refrain from operating their commercial truck while fatigued. When a commercial truck driver operates their truck while fatigued and it results in an accident leading to injuries, they can be held liable for any injuries sustained along with other individuals or entities who may be partially responsible. Thus, truck driver fatigue in a New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck could result in serious liability for a driver or trucking company.
If this happens to you, call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., to learn more how our experienced New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck lawyers can help you and your family recover compensation for your personal injuries. We have handled many fatigued truck driver accident cases, including many of them with federal regulatory violations or other negligence. Learn how we can help you during a FREE consultation with our experienced law firm.
Why is Fatigued Driving Dangerous?
Fatigued driving is dangerous for many reasons. It can cause the driver to fall asleep at the wheel, leading to the driver drifting off of the road or into another car, can impair the driver’s judgment, and impair focus and reaction time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that driving fatigued is similar to drunk driving, as mentioned above. For instance, a person operating a vehicle after being awake for 18 hours is comparable to a drunk driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) OF 0.05%.
Injuries Due to Accidents That Occur as a Result of Truck Driver Fatigue
There are many potential injuries that a person may experience as a result of an accident that is caused by truck driver fatigue. Common injuries include the following:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bone or fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Brain injuries or head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back or neck injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Injuries to internal organs
Why do Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue Occur?
When truck driver fatigue in a New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck results in serious personal injuries, victims may be entitled to compensation. Accidents due to truck driver fatigue occur for a variety of reasons. However, the bottom line is that they never should occur. A fatigued commercial truck driver should never operate their semi-tractor trailer while fatigued, as they have a professional responsibility to follow all state and federal guidelines in order to keep themselves and other drivers and pedestrians safe on the roadways of New Mexico. Common causes of accidents due to truck driver fatigue include the following:
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service (HOS) violations
- Pressure from the commercial trucking company to meet delivery deadlines
- Monetary incentives from the commercial trucking company to work more than required or to work more than is safe
- Medical conditions such as sleep apnea leading to fatigue
FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations
FMCSA regulations that are in place to avoid instances such as truck driver fatigue include the following:
- Truck drivers may only drive a maximum of 11 hours, only after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours
- Drivers must take a 30 minute break after 8 cumulative hours
- Drivers may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7 out of 8 days
- Drivers may not drive “beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14 hour period”
Ask Our Lawyers for Help After Truck Driver Fatigue in a New Mexico 18 Wheeler Wreck
If you or a loved one were injured by a fatigued truck driver in New Mexico, learn how the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. can help you during a FREE consultation 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. We are committed to protecting the rights of innocent people throughout New Mexico. Learn how we can help you.