Truck driver fatigue laws are put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These laws require that truck drivers take breaks in order to rest. More specifically, the laws dictate that no truck driver is permitted to drive for over 11 hours in a row and that they must have rested for at least 10 hours prior.
In addition to the above, truck drivers cannot drive past the 14th hour of clocking in for duty. They cannot drive for over 60 hours per week, and they cannot drive for over 70 hours in any eight days. These laws are put in place to help prevent drowsy driving and, in turn, prevent accidents due to drivers being too tired to operate their rigs.
Studies have shown that driver fatigue can be caused by too little sleep, the amount of pressure put on drivers to deliver their loads in a timely manner, and driving for too many consecutive hours. In any driver, fatigue can also be caused by medication, alcohol or drug use, and undiagnosed sleep disorders. While most studies have concentrated on single vehicle crashes, it is known that truck drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel or have a slowed reaction time due to fatigue cause accidents with other vehicles.
When a truck driver breaks these laws and causes an accident in Atlanta, victims may have a legal right to compensation for property damage, injury and more. An experienced attorney can assist victims in determining what type and amount of compensation they may be entitled to.