Thanks to federal “hours of service” laws, commercial truck drivers must take mandatory breaks in order to prevent asleep-at-the-wheel truck accidents. Unfortunately, some truckers ignore these rules. Sometimes truck drivers voluntarily break these rules to try to cut corners and squeeze out a few extra hours on the road. Other times, truck companies put profits ahead of safety and place unfair pressure on truck drivers to meet strict, sometimes unreasonable deadlines. No matter the reasons behind why a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, you could be entitled to compensation.
The dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs are well-known. Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than those of passenger vehicles. Drivers of commercial vehicles, including truckers, can be arrested if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04 or greater. Proving that a truck driver was under the influence can be a difficult task. You’re not just dealing with a truck driver who might claim he or she wasn’t on drugs or drinking before the crash. You’re dealing with the truck company, their insurance representatives, and a team of lawyers who’ll fight to minimize the compensation you rightfully deserve. That’s not fair.
Because truck drivers are on the road for months at a time, it’s not uncommon for truckers to stay in touch with family and friends with their cell phone. Texting while driving is prohibited for all drivers under state law and talking on a hand-held cell phone is a secondary offense, meaning that drivers cannot be stopped only for cell phone use. The laws for truck drivers are even tougher. All commercial truck drivers nationwide are prohibited from texting while driving.
But proving a trucker was distracted at the time of your accident can be difficult. We can help. The experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Peter W. Summerill can investigate truck company records and other important documents in order to determine the true cause of your accident and hold distracted truck drivers accountable.