How Driver Fatigue Can Cause Iowa Trucking Accidents

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Posted by Ben Long

We’ve all shared Iowa’s roads with semi-trucks.  Because of their size and weight, these tractor-trailers can cause serious damage to any vehicle they hit.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says truck driver fatigue may be a contributing factor in over a third of semi-truck accidents.  With more trucks than ever on the road, this can mean Iowa’s interstates and highways can be hazardous.

Semi-Truck Driver Fatigue Symptoms

The symptoms of truck driver fatigue can include:

  • Swerving between lanes
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Inappropriate braking
  • Inconsistent speed

If you see a semi-truck driving erratically, keep as far away from them as possible and call 911.  It is dangerous to be near a semi-truck that has a fatigued driver.

Hours of Service Rules for Semi-Truck Drivers

Truckers are required by federal law to take breaks from driving.  This gives their eyes and brains a chance to rest and start fresh the next time they drive.  Truck drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours in a row and no more than 60 hours in a week.  These are known as “hours of service” rules.

However, not all truck drivers will follow these rules.  Each trucker is required to keep a log book of their hours on and off the road.  Historically, these books have been falsified so the trucker can spend more time on the road than is legal.

These books serve as important evidence in a semi-truck crash case.  However, there is a time limit on how long the trucking company is required to keep these books.  That is why it’s important to speak with an experienced Iowa truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash.  A lawyer will send a letter to the trucking company that says they cannot destroy the evidence while your claim is being investigated.

Hiring a Trucking Expert to Investigate Your Iowa Personal Injury Case

If you suspect driver fatigue was the reason for your semi-truck crash, let your attorney know as soon as possible.  A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer will hire a trucking industry expert to examine your case.  This expert can look over the trucker’s records and examine the crash scene for signs of driver fatigue.  This examination can include:

  • Measuring any skid marks to see how fast the driver was going and when (or if) they hit their brakes
  • Analyzing crash witness statements
  • Inspecting each vehicle for damage

As you can see, this is a complicated field of law, and you need an attorney who has fought hard for semi-truck crash victims.  Call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1783 and speak with one of our expert semi-truck crash attorneys today.

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