Driving when you are overly tired can be much more dangerous than people expect. In fact, extreme fatigue can impair your awareness and reaction time to the same extent as alcohol. Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers are especially likely to stay on the road while they are dangerously tired, in large part due to financial pressure from employers and the trucking industry.

Obtaining fair financial restitution after a wreck caused by an overtired trucker can be exceptionally difficult, particularly if you try to do it all by yourself. If you want to take legal action against a fatigued truck driver involved in a Philadelphia accident, you have help available to you from experienced truck accident attorneys with experience handling these types of cases.

Who Is Liable for a Truck Driver Being Fatigued?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) puts very specific restrictions on how long commercial truck drivers can stay on the road and how often they must take breaks or go completely off-shift. Currently, the time limits imposed by the FMCSA on long-haul truckers carrying cargo rather than human passengers are as follows:

  • No more than 11 hours of driving per minimum 10-hour off-duty period
  • No more than 14 total hours spent on duty per minimum 10-hour off-duty period
  • No more than eight consecutive hours driving without at least one break of 30 minutes or more
  • No more than 60 total hours on duty per seven-day working period, reset by an off-duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours
  • No more than 70 total hours on duty per eight-day working period, reset by an off-duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours

Truck drivers are often paid by the mile or otherwise in such a way that incentivizes them to stay on the road as long as possible, sometimes beyond these required working limits. Trucking companies may also knowingly compel their drivers to work for an illegal amount of time to save time and money. Both of these behaviors may constitute legally actionable negligence since they both qualify as “breaches” of the duty all drivers—and commercial entities employing professional drivers—have to act responsibly and lawfully.

Proving Fatigue Contributed to Causing a Wreck

It is not always necessary to prove that a Philadelphia truck driver involved in an accident was fatigued to hold them liable for ensuing losses. For example, if a trucker nods off at the wheel and then runs a red light, the fact that they ran the light could serve as the basis for a civil claim regardless of the precise reason why they broke the law.

Someone may also be able to seek compensation from a trucking company, as opposed to an individual trucker, by proving the company deliberately or irresponsibly put unsafe drivers on the road. A skilled legal professional could help collect evidence like driver logs, truck “black box” data, dashboard/surveillance camera footage, and witness testimony to prove a truck driver violated FMCSA driving time regulations and their employer holds some or most of the legal liability for this misconduct.

Call a Philadelphia Attorney After a Fatigued Truck Driver Accident

Overtired truck drivers cause many crashes every year, including here in the City of Brotherly Love. While fatigued driving may constitute negligence in a civil claim, successfully recovering fair compensation in a case built around this kind of negligence can be challenging.

Assistance from a knowledgeable injury attorney can make all the difference in how effectively and efficiently you pursue the restitution you need. Call Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, today to discuss taking action against fatigued truck drivers in Philadelphia accidents.


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