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Truck Driver Fatigue May Reveal Impacts Truck Accidents in Santa Ana

— March 23, 2022

The basis for many civil lawsuits is negligence, and compensation is estimated on the degree of fault exhibited by each driver who caused injury and property damage. 

In January 2021, on Southbound I-5, a big rig ran off the freeway and down an embankment according to representatives of the California Department of Transportation, who were working to bring the truck back up to the roadway.  As a safety precaution, they were anticipating pumping the fuel tank, and 24,000 pounds of frozen chicken needed to be offloaded from the truck.  Investigations occur after a big rig crash, and driver fatigue is sometimes identified as the cause of a trucking accident near Santa Ana.  Talk to a truck accident attorney if you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a big rig in California.  

Driver fatigue

Collisions between 18 wheelers and passenger vehicles are widespread.  In 2019, over 5,000 fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in the United States, while other accidents have yielded high levels of damage to property, physical injuries, and long term life changes.  Government studies have revealed that driver fatigue played a large part in 31% of the cases where the driver died and was a factor in approximately 13% of large truck accidents each year in the United States.  Talk to a California truck accident lawyer about fatigued driving impacts to your case.

Health risk factors

Truck drivers already have a plethora of risk factors associated with driver health to include unhealthy eating habits, stress-related blood pressure issues, and a predisposition to injuries involving cargo load and on-road emergencies.  While truck drivers must undertake health screenings to maintain licensure, screening for obstructive sleep apnea is not mandatory and may cause some sleep-related fatigue accidents.  

Microsleep is a condition associated with poor sleep when a person is not getting enough oxygen during a sleep cycle.  The brain tries to compensate for poor sleep with episodes of microsleep that can last up to 30 seconds. Truck drivers, whose bodies give way to involuntary sleep, may think they are awake, but the brain is not functioning at full capacity and can prove to be dangerous to safe driving.  Since big rigs can weigh 20-30 times as much as a passenger car and need an increased amount of distance to stop, especially while driving at a highway speed, driver fatigue is a serious matter for the trucking industry and the reason the Federal Government has hours of service rules.  

Hours of service regulations

“Hours of service” refers to the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty including driving time, and specifies number and length of rest periods, to help ensure that drivers stay awake and alert.  Carriers and drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must comply with HOS regulations found in 49 CFR 395. Driver fatigue can cause impairments that are similar to drunk driving, such as deficits to perception, coordination, and reaction times.  These type of driving impairments can occur soon after a driver going two nights with 5 hours or less sleep.  

Negligence and insurance

The basis for many civil lawsuits is negligence, and compensation is estimated on the degree of fault exhibited by each driver who caused injury and property damage.  “California is a “fault state” which means that the party found to be responsible for the accident will have to compensate the other party involved in the accident.  Individuals who are involved in a truck accident must file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and should seek the advice of experienced California truck accident attorneys.  


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Damages covered include medical bills, lost wages, property damages and wrongful death claims.  Depending on the extent of damage to property, or injuries sustained by a person in an accident, the minimum might not cover the whole recovery amount and legal action may be warranted. 

Hire an attorney

Contact an experienced California lawyer for a consultation, as they can research specific case facts and interpret the law to support an accident case’s best outcome toward compensation for damages and injuries caused by the truck accident. Determining the percentage of fault is a matter for those who have reviewed police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident and driver fatigue may be identified as the culprit in your accident.


Big Rig Plunges Down Embankment In 5 Freeway Crash, Traffic ImpactedBig Rig Plunges Down Embankment In 5 Freeway Crash, Traffic Impacted — Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 — Santa Clarita Radio – Santa Clarita News

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