Almost every driver has been behind the wheel when sleepy and probably sees it as no big deal. However, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, therefore the number one contributing factor to trucker accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations that try to prevent drowsy driving. They limit the time truckers can drive in a day and the cumulative hours they can drive in the period, and they require breaks. The goal is to prevent accidents due to sleepiness. Suppose a drowsy trucker caused injuries to you or a loved one. In that case, you may be able to financially recover from your damages with the help of a dedicated truck accident attorney. One of our lawyers who handles fatigued truck drivers in Houston accidents could help you explore potential remedies.

The Risk of Trucker Fatigue

Driving while sleepy is similar to drunk driving in that it can decrease awareness, increase reaction time, impair judgment, and lead to people falling asleep behind the wheel. The combination leads to a dramatic increase in the likelihood of an accident.

The FMCSA’s Hours of Service (HOS) requirements should reduce drowsy driving. However, there is a lot of pressure for truckers to continue driving, even if they are sleepy. Truckers face tight inflexible deadlines and often do not account for delays due to traffic or weather. Therefore, they may ignore the rules to meet this deadline. Plus, the job is stressful. Even if someone takes all of the required breaks, they may still be unable to get adequate sleep. They may resort to medication to go to sleep and other medication to wake up. These substances, while often perfectly legal, do not necessarily eliminate the fatigue risks.

Truckers can ignore HOS regulations because the system is self-reporting; they report their hours in logs. After an accident, a driver’s log may not show these differences. Fortunately, a lawyer can use other means to determine a driver’s compliance, including mileage and distance, combined with evidence that a trucker was at a specific location at a particular time. This evidence may be necessary in a Houston collision caused by a tired truck driver.

The Dangers of Houston Traffic

Traffic is unique in this area because it can take hours to get from one side of town to the other. Plus, the drivers are exceptionally aggressive. They speed, cut people off in traffic, change lanes without warning, tailgate, and more. Every driver on the road must be defensive to avoid accidents. Truckers must be even more careful because their vehicles are much larger and more challenging to maneuver than passenger vehicles.

Many negligent drivers cause plenty of wrecks but are never actually involved in them. A trucker in Houston has to be alert and aware so they can watch out for these drivers; otherwise, they can end up in serious accidents due to fatigue. If an alert driver could have avoided the accident, then the sleepy driver is responsible.

Consult an Attorney About Houston Fatigued Driver Truck Crashes

Trucking can be a stressful job, with lots of pressure to meet deadlines. It can be tempting for truckers to continue driving, even while sleepy, in order to meet those deadlines. While FMCSA regulations are supposed to prevent drowsy driving, truckers often ignore them. You may have a claim against a trucker for fatigued truck drivers in Houston accidents. You may also have claims against their employer if the employer encouraged drivers to ignore those regulations. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to learn more.