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Even in the best of circumstances and situations, a large commercial vehicle like a big rig, semi tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, double trailer, or other box truck is just downright dangerous. This includes when a truck driver is in his or her best health and condition. But when a truck driver is ill or fatigued, it makes these large commercial vehicles significantly more dangerous and deadly. When an individual is injured in a NM trucking accident due to an ill or fatigued truck driver, federal regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will apply and help to establish liability. This is a powerful tool for a victim of an 18 wheeler wreck and can help recover compensation for serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
Here at the Mark Caruso, we know how to use the FMCSA regulations as a sword for an innocent person injured in a NM trucking accident. Ill or fatigued truck drivers are not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle, and when they do and cause a serious or fatal trucking crash, our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers can hold them accountable for you. Learn how we can help you by scheduling a FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000.
It should be common sense that if you are ill or fatigued you should not operate a vehicle. But to commercial truck drivers, not operating a truck is not earning money. While most truck drivers are smart and reasonable individuals, some are not and they will drive when sick just to continue to earn money. It is about greed, not about keeping us all safe.
This is why 49 CFR section 392.3 prohibits an ill or fatigued truck driver from operating a commercial vehicle. Specifically, this section provides the following:
“No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle. However, in a case of grave emergency where the hazard to occupants of the commercial motor vehicle or other users of the highway would be increased by compliance with this section, the driver may continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle to the nearest place at which that hazard is removed.”
Thus, if you are involved in a NM trucking accident and the truck driver is ill such as having the flu, pneumonia, a stomach bug, or even any other ailment, he or she might have been prohibit from even being on the roadway. This could be a violation of this federal regulation which can help you establish liability.
In fact, even if the truck drier has just headaches, coughing, or a generalized ill feeling, that may be enough to establish liability due to a violation of this regulation. The reason is because that a truck driver may be suffering from something more debilitating than he or she is leading on, which should be investigated. It could also be something that impairs the ability to operate a motor vehicle and react, as some headaches could make focusing much more difficult.
FMCSA regulations clearly prohibit an ill or fatigued driver from operating a large commercial vehicle. If you or a loved one have been seriously or wrongfully killed in any trucking crash or wreck, please call the Mark Caruso by dialing (505) 883-5000 to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers. We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Hobbs, Lordsburg, or anywhere else in the state, including Albuquerque where our law office is located. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.