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Truck accidentOf all the many trucking accidents which occur on a yearly basis it is likely that a large percentage of them were caused at least in part by driver fatigue. There are 15.5 million trucks which travel American highways each year, and for every 100 million miles those trucks drove in 2011, there were 1.1 fatal crashes. Approximately half a million accidents involving a large commercial truck occur each year, during the moving of 11 billion tons of freight.   Even though the FMCSA has put regulations into place which attempt to ensure that truck drivers are well-rested when they pull out onto the road, drivers and trucking companies do not always adhere to these regulations.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, the northern Colorado trucking accident lawyers at Hull & Zimmerman, P.C. can help.

Trucking Regulations

Drivers are required to keep log books in which they record their hours driven and hours rested. In a twenty-four-hour period, a truck driver is legally allowed to drive for a maximum of eleven consecutive hours prior to resting for at least ten hours. Drivers are not allowed to drive more than fourteen hours in any given twenty-four-hour period, yet other factors come into play which can keep them on the road past the legal limits. Truck drivers do not receive an hourly wage or a monthly salary, rather are paid according to every mile they travel. Along with this pressure to stay on the road and increase their pay, there is the pressure from their employer, the trucking company. The longer truck drivers are on the road, the better the bottom line profit statement is for the company so many companies turn a blind eye to truckers who are putting in more hours on the road than they should be.

The Sleep Deprived Driver

Because many truck drivers bow to the pressure to exceed the legal number of hours they can be behind the wheel, sleep deprivation is almost a normal state for a large percentage of drivers. Sleep deprivation can not only cause serious, long-term health issues, it can also cause significant short-term issues such as a decrease in alertness. Other symptoms of sleep deprivation can include impaired memory and decreased cognitive abilities. The truck driver who has not gotten regular sleep for many months, or even years, may find it difficult to process information correctly, making it extremely dangerous to climb behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck, often loaded with hazardous cargo. The sleep-deprived driver can have a degraded ability to problem-solve, may become anxious and moody, and could be much less able to handle stressful situations.

Getting Exhausted Truck Drivers off the Roadways

Truck drivers have been identified as being at an extremely high risk of having obstructive sleep apnea, due in part to the fact that many truck drivers have poor eating habits which cause them to be overweight, coupled with a chronic lack of exercise. Truck drivers are unable to get into good sleeping patterns because of their job duties, therefore even when they are home and can sleep, they often still have sleep difficulties.

According to the industry studies there could be a full thirty percent of truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea, therefore a Harvard researcher has been working to create a type of tool which screens drivers who are identified as having a high risk for sleep apnea. This test would be used together with the standard hearing and vision screening tests which the researchers believe could result in a substantial decrease in the risk of truck accidents due to tired drivers.

Get the Help You Need

If you have been injured in an accident which was caused by an overtired truck driver, it is important that you seek help from a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There are many complexities involved in assigning liability for your accident due to the many people who could be deemed negligent. While the driver has a responsibility to follow the safety regulations and take regular sleep breaks, the trucking company he or she works for is also responsible for ensuring their drivers take those breaks and do not drive when they have not slept properly. Injuries from trucking accidents are usually severe or fatal, meaning you likely have substantial medical expenses and may not have been able to work for a significant length of time. Call an experienced personal injury attorney who has a background in trucking accidents and get the help you need and deserve.

Contact Our Northern Colorado Trucking Accident Lawyers

Lafayette Personal Injury Attorneys at Hull & Zimmerman, P.C.If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident in Broomfield, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced and zealous trucking accident attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed personal injury lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.



At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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