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Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles play an essential role in the economy here in West Virginia. However, these large, cumbersome vehicles require focus and attention to operate safely, and drivers who are too tired to stay alert behind the wheel put everyone on the road in danger. Truck driver fatigue is a significant problem in the trucking industry, especially with the tight deadlines so many companies operate on. 

At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our West Virginia truck accident lawyers understand the challenges that victims face following accidents caused by truck driver fatigue. If you’re struggling in the wake of a collision that wasn’t your fault, we want to help you prove that a drowsy truck driver was to blame and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

How Big of a Problem is Driver Fatigue for Truckers?

Truck driver fatigue is a major safety concern in West Virginia and nationwide. Truck drivers need to get enough sleep to perform their jobs safely. However, to maximize profits, the trucking industry often pushes drivers to their limits, affecting their ability to remain alert and awake behind the wheel. Even though strict laws and regulations are in place to reduce truck driver fatigue and excess driving hours, sleepy truck drivers are still a common cause of accidents. Driving while too tired can result in a truck:

  • Drifting off the roadway
  • Swaying between travel lanes
  • Increasing speed due to accidental pressure on the gas pedal
  • Causing a runaway accident, in which the trailer detaches from the truck

Consequences of Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck accidents resulting from truck driver fatigue often carry severe consequences, as the sheer size and weight of these vehicles can do severe damage in the event of a collision. Fully loaded, a semi-truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds. Most passenger vehicles weigh between 2,600 pounds and 4,400 pounds, about one-twentieth the size of a semi. As a result, the occupants of those vehicles are at extreme risk of injury if a drowsy truck driver hits them.

Who is Liable for an Accident Involving a Drowsy Truck Driver?

Several parties can be liable for an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver. In most cases, the truck driver is responsible for maintaining control of the vehicle. When fatigue sets in, they must rest until they are safe to drive – and their failure to do so could make them directly liable for a subsequent collision.

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the trucking company may be liable for making their drivers ignore hours of service regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. An in-depth investigation can determine what factors contributed to the accident. This investigation will involve:

  • Reviewing driver logs and electronic monitoring data
  • Examining employment records and fitness reports
  • Taking testimony from witnesses
  • Working with a crash reconstruction expert

Contact our West Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer for Help

If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a sleepy truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings, vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and more. The West Virginia personal injury lawyers with Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, want to help you demand it. Contact us today for a free case review, and let’s pursue the money you need together.

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