Fatigued Truck Drivers in New Braunfels Accidents

Fatigued driving poses a significant risk for everyone traveling on roads and highways, putting them at higher risk of collisions. The immense size of heavy commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, makes it particularly hazardous. Therefore, federal and state agencies oversee and regulate the industry strictly to reduce the number of 18-wheeler crashes throughout the country because of tired truckers.

Commercial trucks are challenging to operate under the best circumstances. Therefore, the risk of fatigued semi-truck operators is significant. Schedule a meeting with a dedicated lawyer for help holding fatigued truck drivers in New Braunfels accidents accountable.

The Risks of Fatigued Truckers

Fatigue can substantially affect cognitive functions and quick decision-making abilities, significantly increasing the chances of error. Truckers may also experience microsleep episodes, which involve falling asleep for several seconds without knowing. Drowsiness while operating a heavy commercial vehicle can result from long hours behind the wheel, inadequate sleep, and strenuous work or recreational activities.

Mental or physical fatigue is hazardous as it impairs a truck operator’s ability to perform as needed, especially when problems arise. Studies conducted through the years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that truckers without adequate rest are over 10 percent more likely to make errors leading to collisions.

The agency recommends they get sufficient sleep each night to prevent risks, including impaired response times, daydreaming, or falling asleep while operating the vehicles. During an initial consultation, a New Braunfels attorney qualified to handle truck accident cases involving fatigued drivers can answer specific questions about the risks and damage recovery process.

Maximum Hours of Service Limitations

Semi-truck operators traveling in Texas must adhere to the hours of service restrictions, including the following:

  • Truckers must remain off-duty for eight consecutive hours before beginning each shift
  • The maximum time they may stay on duty is 15 straight hours
  • Truck drivers can operate the vehicles for 12 hours consecutively
  • The maximum time they may stay on duty for a seven-day workweek is 70 hours
  • They must remain off-duty for a minimum of 34 consecutive hours to reset the workweek

Drivers operating heavy commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers with compartments installed behind a tractor unit’s cabin, have additional options.

The Texas Split Sleeper Berth Provision

Commercial vehicle operators with sleeper berths can split their mandatory rest period as long as it is at least two hours in duration. However, they must ensure the total time they rest in the sleeper berth meets the mandatory duration of rest under federal and state laws.

A lawyer seasoned in wrecks caused by tired truck drivers in New Braunfels understands the industry and can request electronic device logs to review and determine trucker and employer adherence to the rules and regulations. One is the electronic logging devices, or ELDs, which automatically connect to the 18-wheeler’s engine and record the operator’s service hours.

Our Attorneys Hold Fatigued Truck Drivers Accountable for Accidents in New Braunfels

Truckers have demanding jobs with long hours, stressful deadlines, and the responsibility to operate massive vehicles safely. When they are mentally and physically drained, mistakes are more likely to happen and can have devastating consequences for them and other motorists on the roadways.

Civil laws will hold the liable parties—including the operator and their employers—financially responsible if they cause traffic collisions while out of compliance with the hours-of-service regulations. Schedule an appointment with a lawyer who has experience handling cases involving fatigued truck drivers in New Braunfels accidents to review your legal options.

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