18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys
Truck drivers face increasing pressure to make deliveries on a tighter schedule. The trucking company works closely with a retailer to determine when a specific product needs to be available, and then the truck company sets the schedule accordingly. These unrealistic schedules often require truck drivers to drive at excessive speeds on little or no sleep, while fighting to stay awake behind the wheel of their massive 18-wheeler.
All too frequently, these unrealistic schedules increase the likelihood of a collision between a large commercial truck and a passenger vehicle. And accidents involving an 18-wheeler and a car or SUV are more likely to cause serious injury to the drivers and passengers of these smaller vehicles.
Liability for Truck Accidents caused by Unrealistic Schedules
Determining the liability in truck accidents caused by unrealistic schedules can be a difficult task. Your 18-wheeler accident attorney may assess the following:
- Driving logs, and any indication of falsified driving logs
- Hours of operation (as permitted by federal regulations)
- ATM receipts
- Fueling records
- Meal receipts
Reasons for an Increase in Unrealistic Schedules
Today’s trucking industry is highly competitive. Truck companies know that even if they set an impractical delivery time, there is a driver who will accept the load. Some drivers are able to turn down a delivery and keep their jobs, while others cannot. With today’s economy, many drivers will not refuse an unrealistic schedule because it means a big paycheck. However, accepting an unrealistic delivery can result in the following dangerous driving conditions:
- Driver fatigue: This is the most common cause of 18-wheeler accidents, playing a role in some 40 percent of all accidents involving commercial trucks. When truck drivers try to meet unrealistic schedules, they may break the federal laws for Hours of Service (HOS). This may mean driving for too many straight hours, or hours that are too close together. The result is often fake entries in their log books and extreme fatigue behind the wheel that is dangerous to themselves, and other drivers on the road.
- Excessive speeds: Tight delivery schedules often encourage truckers to drive at excessive speeds, making them more likely to be involved in an accident. Dangerously high speeds also increase the severity of an 18-wheeler accident.
- Stimulants: To stay awake, many truck drivers use both legal and illegal stimulants to stay awake. These stimulants, including caffeine, ephedrine, cocaine, and methamphetamines, can result in poor judgment, impaired vision and a delayed reaction time. All of these factors can be incredibly deadly when driving an enormous 18-wheeler.
If you believe that a truck driver’s unrealistic schedule is to blame for your injuries, please call our 18-wheeler accident attorney at 1-877-LOSS RECOVER (567-7732). We can help you win a fair settlement for your injuries, and our lawyers work on a contingency bases. Our 18-wheeler accident lawyers also offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by calling today.