In Atlanta, many truck accidents occur at night. For this reason, car and other vehicle drivers have to be more vigilant during the night to avoid ramming into a truck. There are several reasons why a truck accident is more likely to occur at night than during the day.
This article will examine the factors behind the increased propensity for night-time truck accidents. We will also see why hiring an Atlanta personal injury lawyer is important if one is involved in such a truck accident.
Reasons for Night-Time Truck Accidents in Atlanta
Driving at night exposes the drivers to more accident risks than during the day. The chances are even higher for truck drivers than for car owners due to the far superior weight of trucks. Without riding a truck, it’s difficult to comprehend how slow it is to get a heavy-duty vehicle to effect a quick maneuver. The heavier a truck, the more time it takes to obey the directives of the driver.
Another reason why truck driving is riskier during the night is that truck drivers have to battle with sleep while they control the steering wheel. Truck drivers are more tired and drowsy during the night than the average person. Despite this, they have to fulfill the nighttime demands of their employers. To make more deliveries and maximize profit, trucking companies operate round the clock, forcing truck drivers to spend long hours on the road at night.
While they navigate their way through the not-so-bright roads, truck drivers have several hindrances to contend with. One of which is the momentary blindness that other vehicles’ headlamps produce. There is also the constant distraction from multiple reflective surfaces such as road signs which continually divert light towards the truck driver.
Furthermore, truck drivers are less vigilant during the night. This is not only due to possible fatigue and drowsiness but also because they could get too accustomed to driving through traffic-free roads. Driving through the road for, let’s say, 30 minutes without seeing any other vehicles has a way of making truck drivers drop their guard.
So, can truck drivers operate safely on the roads at night? The answer is “yes.” Some regulations govern the behavior of truck drivers. These regulations can reduce the prevalence of night-time accidents if adhered to.
Truck Driver Regulations in Georgia
The Department of Transportation, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has laid down a set of policies to govern the conduct of truck drivers. These policies affect all truck drivers in the country, including those in Georgia.
The FMCSA regulations have been updated to further restrict the excesses of profit-hungry truck companies who engage in unwholesome practices. There is an urgent need to deter truck companies from straining the health of their employees through extreme road hours. When this is done, the rate of truck accidents should see a considerable decline and the roads should be safer at night.
Here are the truck-related FMCSA regulations:
- Truck drivers are mandated to take a 30-minute break for every 8 hours of work.
- Truck drivers can no longer work for more than 70 hours a week.
- A truck driver who exhausts their 70 hours weekly work limit can only resume work after taking a successive 34-hour rest. This rest must include two nights.
- Truck drivers are allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours following ten consecutive hours off work.
- Truck drivers can not drive after the 14th consecutive hour of resumption of duty.
Trucking companies and drivers who violate these regulations face fines of $11,000 and $2,750, respectively. However, despite these financial deterrents, trucking companies have found ways to perpetuate practices that overstep safety boundaries.
When Do You Need a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you sustain injuries in a night-time accident with a truck and can show that the truck driver ran foul of the FMCSA regulations, you can demand compensation. A competent and experienced truck accident attorney will know how to negotiate on your behalf and get the highest possible compensation for you. If negotiations do not arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, your attorney can file a lawsuit and present your case in court.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
Your choice of a truck accident lawyer can make the difference between a successful and a failed compensation claim. The Bethune Law Firm legal team has a robust wealth of experience winning accident claims and we’ll use it to get you a more than satisfactory compensation for your losses. Contact us now for a free consultation. We do not charge upfront fees.