If you live in an around San Antonio, then you understand just how important the trucking industry is to this country as you see 18-wheelers passing through every day as they crisscross the country to deliver goods wherever they are needed. Trucking now represents the most commonly used method of transportation in the country, employing a large number of workers in a profession that makes many other industries possible. At the same time, though, the more trucks there are on the road, the more important it is to make sure that they are being operated safely. That means both understanding the role fatigue plays and knowing what to do about it.
Fatigue and accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), trucking accidents make up for roughly 4,000 of the nearly 30,000 motor vehicle deaths in the country each year. When you take into account the number of accidents that result in more than one fatality, it becomes apparent that the problem is even larger than the roughly 1-in-7.5 frequency makes it seem. The FMCSA has been working on rules that help rein in these accidents by preventing high-fatigue situations. They do this in a few ways:
- Limiting the number of hours that can be spent on the road without a break.
- Limiting the number of hours that can be spent on the road per day.
- Mandated rest periods called "restarts" that must be used every week.
Hurdles to reducing fatigue-related accidents
One of the biggest hurdles that the FMCSA and other regulating bodies face when attempting to reduce driver fatigue is the impossibility of tracking what is done during rest periods and before work starts. This leads to individual bad actors going out on the road without enough rest in some cases. In others, it misses necessities in the industry that might not be able to be addressed with regulation alone, such as what happens when a driver has a long enough commute to take their total driving between personal and commercial time outside of the acceptable regulatory range. These holes in the regulations unfortunately increase risk for many individual consumers.
If you are in an 18-wheeler accident
If you are in an accident with a truck that leaves you severely injured, you might be able to recover damages. Understanding how long you have to file and what options are available to you means contacting an experi enced accident attorney who can review your case with you and provide legal advice.
Contact a lawyer today to find out whether or not you have a claim for damages that could help you with repairs and medical bills after your accident.