Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers

Fatigued Truck Drivers Put Others at Risk

Our Baltimore accident law firm represents victims injured in accidents caused by commercial truck companies and drivers

Operating a tractor trailer or other large commercial truck requires significant skill, concentration and alertness. Commercial drivers have tremendous responsibility. Due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicles they operate, any error could result in a catastrophic accident. Drivers who are tired or feeling drowsy or under the weather present a very real danger on the road. In fact, the Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that 3,000 to 4,000 people are killed in truck and bus accidents in the United States every year, and that fatigued drivers were responsible for 13 percent of those deaths.

LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. handles the most challenging auto accident cases in Maryland. Our Baltimore truck accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve from the negligent trucking company or driver responsible for your wreck.

Laws governing driving hours and breaks

To protect other motorists as well as truck drivers, federal laws regulate:

  • Breaks between and during shifts
  • Mandatory time off
  • Records of time spent on and off the road in drivers’ logs
  • The number of hours a driver is allowed to drive in a single shift
  • Use of sleeping berths to satisfy rest requirements

Causes of driver fatigue

Exhaustion greatly impairs a driver’s ability to respond effectively to emergency situations, such as a tire blowout or hazardous condition. Sometimes drivers may not realize how tired they truly are. Some try to overcome exhaustion with stimulants or caffeine. However, these tactics cannot reverse the effects of extreme fatigue caused by:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Driving too many hours at a stretch
  • Illness
  • Ingesting illegal drugs
  • Lack of sleep and rest breaks
  • Nighttime driving
  • Taking prescription medications that cause drowsiness

Liability of trucking companies when drivers are tired, ill or intoxicated

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, employers are responsible for the conduct of their workers who are engaged in occupational duties. A trucking company may, therefore, be liable just for employing a negligent driver — as long as the driver was acting within the capacity of the job —  for causing a truck accident.

In addition, corporations sometimes create an atmosphere of tolerance for dangerous behavior by failing to implement and enforce disciplinary procedures to address such behavior. Additionally, some supervisors may pressure drivers into speeding, forgoing sleep, taking stimulants or declining sick leave in an effort to deliver cargo by unrealistic deadlines.

Call Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton to Learn More About your Right to File a Claim if Injured by a Fatigued Truck Driver

To get more information about filing a claim for injuries caused by commercial driver fatigue, call LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact our firm online. Your initial consultation is free. Call our Baltimore accident law firm on our 24-hour hotline reserved for accident victims. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers handle auto accident claims throughout Maryland on contingency. Your recovery is our primary concern.