Truck accidents can happen for several reasons. But, these reasons differ significantly from the causes underlying car accidents. Since they log more miles, equipment failures play a much larger role in commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes. And since they drive longer hours, truck drivers are more likely to feel the effects of fatigue while driving.
Although truckers and trucking companies know how tired truck drivers cause accidents in Florida, they often push the limits. If a fatigued truck driver hits your vehicle, a lawyer from Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help you pursue a claim against those responsible.
Call us today at (904) 396-1100 for a free initial consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Jacksonville, FL. We’ll discuss what happened and review your legal options for compensation.
How Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Tired Truck Driver Accident in Jacksonville, FL
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers has served injured victims in Jacksonville, Florida, since 2012. Over the past 11 years, our Jacksonville truck accident lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
If you get injured in a collision, our personal injury lawyers can provide:
- An analysis of your crash so you understand your legal options for compensation
- Thorough evidence collection proving fault and the value of your claim
- Over 80 years of combined experience negotiating insurance settlements
- Award-winning trial lawyers to take insurers who refuse to settle to court
Truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries due to the truck’s massive size and weight. Contact Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and how we can seek compensation under Florida law.
How Many Truck Accidents Happen in Jacksonville, Florida?
Under federal law, CMVs include:
- Vehicles weighing at least 10,001 pounds
- Buses designed to transport a driver and at least seven passengers for a fare
- Buses designed to transport a driver and at least 14 passengers without fare
- Vehicles transporting hazardous waste
Vehicles that fall into these categories are governed by both U.S. and Florida laws. Both jurisdictions track the number of crashes and their causes.
According to Florida’s Crash Facts Report, Duval County, home to Jacksonville, has averaged 2,538 truck accidents per year since 2019. These crashes caused annual averages of 15 fatal injuries and 621 non-fatal injuries. In 2021, the most recent year with final numbers, Duval County exceeded its three-year averages with 2,694 crashes, 21 deaths, and 629 injuries.
According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue plays a role in approximately 13% of CMV crashes. Applying this number to Florida’s truck crash statistics, you can estimate that tired truck drivers cause about 330 truck crashes in Jacksonville annually.
Fatigued Truck Driver Crashes
Driving requires skill and attention.
Fatigue can have many effects on a truck driver’s abilities, including:
- Dulling their senses
- Slowing their reflexes
- Increasing the risk of dozing off
At freeway speeds of 60 miles per hour, a semi-truck covers 88 feet every second. When a truck driver dozes off for just two seconds, their vehicle covers 176 feet or over 58 yards.
Fatigued drivers are more likely to hit other cars from behind or drift out of their lanes. A rear-end crash with another passenger vehicle can cause severe injuries like concussions or whiplash. But when a semi-truck hits you from behind, you can get crushed by the massive 40-ton weight.
Similarly, sideswipe crashes with other passenger vehicles will often cause only minor injuries like bruises and scrapes. A sideswipe crash with a semi-truck can result in a vehicle trapped under the trailer.
Hours of Service Rules
Federal laws recognize the risks posed by truck driver fatigue. The FMCSA has rules governing truck driver hours of service.
These complex rules limit drivers to 11 hours of driving after 10 hours of rest. When combining breaks, driving, and administrative duties, drivers cannot remain on duty for more than 14 hours after a 10-hour break. Drivers must take a 30-minute break after every 8 hours of driving.
Liability For Truck Accidents Caused By Fatigued Drivers
The liability for a crash caused by a tired truck driver will depend on the trucker’s business model. If the trucker is an owner-operator, the trucker will be liable for the injuries and property damage they cause. If the trucker is an employee, their employer will bear the liability.
A doctrine called “vicarious liability” imposes liability on employers for the negligence of their employees committed during the course and scope of their jobs. Thus, a driver who causes a truck accident due to fatigue will create vicarious liability for their employer.
A trucking company might also bear liability for its role in causing the crash. If the employer pushed the driver to drive too many hours, the trucking company may have acted negligently.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Jacksonville Truck Accident Attorneys If a Tired Trucker Caused Your Crash
A truck accident can temporarily or permanently disable you from working or caring for yourself. Contact Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your truck crash and what we can do to help you pursue compensation.