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Truck Accidents Caused by Trucker Fatigue in SC

Serving Clients in Columbia & Lexington

Truck drivers must embark on long journeys to transport cargo. Since they are on the road for long periods of time, especially late at night and the early mornings, it is not uncommon for truckers to drive when they are too tired. Unfortunately, drowsy or fatigued driving can lead to falling asleep behind the wheel and a devastating truck accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued truck driver in Columbia or Lexington, SC, do not hesitate to let the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC help you recover the financial compensation you deserve to cover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering. Our legal team can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gather and examine evidence, negotiate with trucking carriers and their insurers, and obtain the most favorable result inside or outside the courtroom.

Call (803) 359-3301 or complete our online contact form to request a free initial consultation.

Causes of Driver Fatigue

Drowsiness or sleepiness can lead to crashes at any time of day or night. Yet, fatigued driving accidents typically happen between midnight and 6 AM, or in the late afternoon, and involve only a single motorist driving off the road at high speeds without braking.

Drowsy driving is similar to drunk or drugged driving. A fatigued driver’s reaction times are much slower, giving them less time to react to road hazards. Drowsy drivers are also three times more likely to be in a car accident compared to well-rested drivers.

Common causes of driver fatigue include:

  • Lack of a good night’s sleep

  • Sleep apnea or other medical conditions

  • Medications that cause drowsiness

  • Working several jobs

  • An unhealthy diet

  • Sleeping in a sleeper berth

Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has placed limits on how long truckers can drive. The hours of service (HOS) regulations determine the maximum amount of time commercial drivers should be on the road. There are different time limits for property-carrying drivers and passenger-carrying drivers.

The following are the HOS regulations for property-carrying drivers:

  • 11-hour driving limit after a mandatory 10 consecutive hours off duty

  • 14-hour driving limit after coming on duty

  • 30-minute driving break when a commercial driver has driven for a maximum of eight (8) hours

  • 60/70-hour driving limit after being on duty for seven (7) or eight (8) consecutive days

  • Commercial drivers must spend a minimum of seven (7) hours in a sleeper berth

The following are the HOS regulations for passenger-carrying drivers:

  • 10-hour driving limit after a mandatory eight (8) consecutive hours off duty

  • 15-hour driving limit after coming on duty

  • 60/70-hour driving limit after being on duty for seven (7) or eight (8) consecutive days

  • Commercial rivers must spend a minimum of eight (8) hours in a sleeper berth

The federal government has enforced the HOS regulations to curb the number of catastrophic and fatal trucking accidents caused by fatigued driving. However, trucking companies have encouraged their drivers to drive past the federal limits in order to meet deadlines faster and make more money. But if a trucking company is caught violating the HOS regulations, they may face serious penalties.

Ready to Fight for You Today!

Not only may the fatigued trucker be at fault for causing the crash, but also the trucking company for breaking the laws and encouraging their drivers to stay on the road longer. We will protect your rights and best interests throughout every step of the legal process, while you make the best recovery possible from injury.

Contact us today at (803) 359-3301 to speak with our Columbia legal team.

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