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Counsel That You Can Trust & Depend On


Guy DiMartino Nov. 4, 2014

Northwest Indiana truck accident attorneys discusses truck drivers that are asleep at the wheel.

Have you traveled by car for long distances? Did you find yourself zoning out or day dreaming? Was it in the middle of the night and you started to doze off? It has happened to me. Do you use the following tricks to stay awake? “loud music” “open the windows so cold air hits you” “talk to yourself” “sing out loud” “caffeine” “amphetamines.”

Well what happens to the professional over-the-road truck drivers? Driver fatigue and fall asleep at the wheel is particularly dangerous when you're traveling on the interstate at 70 miles per hour with 100,000 pounds.

Tired truck driver are distracted, have decreased perception and awareness, tend to day dream and focus more on the hood of their tractors as opposed to the road. All these distractions can lead to accidents, injury & death.

In order to combat these concerns, the federal government has regulations that require all truck drivers to maintain logbooks that show their time on and off the clock. There are strict hours of service rules. A truck driver is not allowed to drive more than 11 hours straight during a 24-hour period. Time and mileage is money in the trucking industry and human nature is to circumvent rules when it benefits the individual.

The Northwest Indiana Times ran a recent expose where it searched federal records from 2003 to 2008 in Lake and Porter Counties. During this time frame there were over 10,000 violations pertaining to missing or faulty log books. The investigation also noted more than 1400 violations for drivers working over 11 hours.

On the whole, these violations don't matter until some tragedy occurs. In a split second, a truck driver may be called to perceive and react to a danger on the roadway, and if they are fatigued, the response time will be slowed significantly and bad things happen.

When we handle truck accident cases, one of the biggest areas of resistance from the truck driver and his/her company is turning over the logbooks. All too frequently we hear that they were lost, destroyed, taken by authorities and not returned, etc. etc. etc. This is one of the reasons that it is important to request the logbooks immediately after the accident.

If you have any questions about a Northwest Indiana truck accident, you can call one of our Michigan City trucking attorneys at (219) 874-4878.