Trekking for thousands of miles over long hours, truck drivers are a hardworking and vital asset to commerce nationwide. Especially considering our reliance on online shopping and overnight shipping, these professionals are being pushed to travel farther and faster than ever before. However, when truck drivers do not follow laws and safety regulations put in place to protect both themselves and the public, they put everyone on the road at risk. Though most drivers would be familiar with the common laws truck drivers must also follow, which include no driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, no speeding, etc., one major rule enacted specifically to keep the public safe while sharing the road with these massive trucks actually has nothing to do with driving. This regulation mandates how much rest and sleep a truck driver gets while on a long haul.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 100,000 police-reported accidents are directly related to a driver’s lack of sleep. To break down this stat even further, the same estimate suggests that 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and a staggering $12.5 billion in property damage as a direct result of drowsy driving every year. A semi truck carrying a full trailer can top out at up to 80,000 pounds — an undeniably challenging vehicle to maneuver, especially at higher speeds and with the handicap of an under-rested driver. Considering these factors, it is obvious to see why truck drivers are required to get adequate rest while on the road.
Unfortunately, many of these drivers are protected by the large corporations that they work for, oftentimes complicating matters beyond the scope of other car accident cases. Our trucking accident lawyers provide the injured with the experience to fight for much-deserved compensation; securing the help victims need to embark on the road to recovery with confidence.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) is a voluminous document that outlines all the rules trucking companies and their drivers must follow for interstate carriers, which is across Florida lines as well as intrastate carriers, which is only in the State of Florida.
Florida has essentially adopted FMCSR, which is contained in Florida Statute 316.302 and states, in part: “All owners and drivers of commercial motor vehicles that are engaged in intrastate commerce are subject to 49 C.F.R, parts 382, 385 and 390-397.”
This is why, in addition to an experienced trucking attorney investigating driver fatigue, a trucking attorney should be very familiar with the extensive rules and regulation contained in the FMCSR.
The law firm of Wieland Hilado & DeLattre has handled numerous complicated and unique trucking cases and continues to handle these types of cases.
The key to a successful outcome in any trucking case is to be sure a competent and experienced trucking attorney is on your side and is familiar with the FMCSR. Also important is to conduct a thorough and extensive investigation as soon as possible following the incident. Often times, an accident reconstruction expert will need to go to the scene and immediately inspect both vehicles and talk to any witnesses.
If you, a loved one or a friend have been injured due to a trucking accident, give us a call today.
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