Drowsy and fatigued driving behavior of commercial truck drivers poses a significant threat on Mississippi roadways. The consequences can be devastating, leading to severe accidents resulting in life-altering injuries or, tragically, even loss of life. At Boyce Holleman & Associates, our skilled truck accident attorneys advocate for the rights of those injured in commercial truck accidents. We work tirelessly to obtain the compensation that injured victims deserve, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Dangerous Roads for Trucking Accidents in Gulfport, MS
Several roads in Gulfport are known for a higher frequency of trucking accidents due to various factors such as traffic volume, infrastructure, and other considerations:
- I-10: As a major east-west interstate, I-10 sees heavy truck traffic, making it more susceptible to accidents. The interchange with I-110 is a notable hotspot for collisions.
- I-110: This interstate connects I-10 to the Gulfport area. Its interchanges and tight curves can be challenging for trucks to navigate.
- US-49: As a significant north-south route, US-49 experiences substantial commercial traffic. It has multiple intersections and varying speed limits, increasing the potential for accidents.
- Highway 605: This local highway is known for its frequent trucking accidents due to factors like congestion, intersections, and a mix of commercial and passenger vehicles.
- Cowan-Lorraine Road: This road experiences a notable volume of truck traffic, leading to a higher risk of accidents, particularly at intersections.
- Pass Road: Pass Road is a major east-west artery in Gulfport with a mix of businesses and residential areas. It can be congested and challenging for truck drivers.
FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations in Mississippi for Commercial Trucks
- Daily Driving Limit: Commercial truck drivers are generally limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour workday following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Weekly Driving Limit: Drivers must not exceed 60 hours of on-duty time in a 7-day period or 70 hours in an 8-day period. This is subject to a reset of 34 consecutive hours off duty.
- Mandatory Rest Breaks: Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of their shift. This break can be a rest or meal break.
- 14-Hour Workday Limit: After coming on duty, drivers must complete their work within a 14-hour window, which includes driving and non-driving activities.
- 70-Hour Weekly Limit: Drivers cannot restart their 7/8-day work period until they have taken a 34-hour break. This is often referred to as the “34-hour restart.”
Non-compliance with HOS regulations can result in penalties, fines, and, most importantly, increased risks of accidents due to driver fatigue.
Types of Negligence Commercial Trucking Companies Commit on MS Roads
Certain types of negligence committed by trucking companies can contribute to drowsy driving accidents, putting the lives of drivers and other road users at risk.
Unrealistic Delivery Deadlines
Some trucking companies impose unrealistically tight delivery schedules on their drivers. This can lead to immense pressure on drivers to meet these deadlines, often at the expense of adequate rest.
Incentivizing Drivers for Excessive Work
Offering financial incentives for drivers who complete more trips or work longer hours can inadvertently encourage them to overlook their own fatigue and safety. This system may lead drivers to exceed their Hours of Service (HOS) limitations in pursuit of bonuses.
Turning a Blind Eye to HOS Violations
Some trucking companies, in the pursuit of profit, may disregard or fail to enforce federal HOS regulations designed to prevent driver fatigue. This negligence allows drivers to violate HOS rules without facing consequences, creating a hazardous environment on the roads.
Prioritizing Profit Over Road Safety
In some cases, trucking companies prioritize profit maximization over road safety. This can manifest in various ways, such as inadequate vehicle maintenance, skimping on driver training, and compromising safety measures to reduce costs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowsy driving accident involving a commercial truck, you should speak with one of our dedicated truck injury attorneys to understand your rights and hold negligent parties accountable.
Types of Evidence Our Attorneys Will Collect to Prove the Trucking Company’s Liability
Our experienced attorneys will leave no stone unturned to build a compelling case. Here are the types of evidence we will gather:
- Driver Logs and Records: We will scrutinize the driver’s logbook and records to determine compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
- Company Policies and Training Records: We will review the trucking company’s policies, training materials, and records to determine if there were any violations or shortcomings in their approach to driver training, safety, and compliance.
- Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Data: ELDs are used to track a driver’s hours and rest periods. Accessing this data can reveal any discrepancies in a driver’s hours of service.
- Surveillance Footage: If available, surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras can provide valuable insights into the circumstances leading up to the accident.
- Cell Phone Records: If distracted driving is suspected, we may obtain the driver’s cell phone records to determine if phone use or texting was a contributing factor.
- Black Box Data: Commercial trucks are equipped with event data recorders (EDRs), which can provide information about the vehicle’s speed, braking, and other critical factors leading up to the accident.
- Company Communication Records: Correspondence, emails, or internal communications within the trucking company may reveal information about unrealistic delivery schedules, incentivize drivers for excessive work, or turn a blind eye to HOS violations.
Our Attorneys will Prove HOS Violations If the Commercial Truck Driver Falsified the Logbooks
Our truck accident lawyers are fully equipped to uncover evidence of falsification and are committed to holding both the driver and the trucking company accountable for their actions, ensuring justice is served on your behalf. We will scrutinize the driver’s logbook, looking for inconsistencies, irregularities, or patterns that indicate falsification. We’ll also compare the logbook with data from the truck’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD), if available, to pinpoint discrepancies.
Eyewitness testimonies, especially those who observed the driver’s behavior or the truck’s activities, provide valuable insights that can strengthen the case for logbook falsification. Additionally, our attorneys will review delivery records, invoices, fueling and receipt records, and even mathematical errors within the logbook entries.
Engaging forensic experts or auditors with experience in logbook examination can further substantiate our case. Our team will also conduct interviews with the driver, especially when contradictions between their statements and logbook entries emerge.
Profit Motive of Trucking Companies and Shortage of Commercial Truck Drivers in Mississippi Contributes to Drowsy Driving Commercial Truck Accidents
The shortage of experienced commercial truck drivers in Mississippi has become a pressing concern in recent years, and its consequences are being felt on the state’s roadways. Unfortunately, some trucking companies, in their pursuit of aggressive cost savings, have been unwilling to pay for experienced and more qualified truckers. This practice is having a direct impact on road safety, leading to an increase in drowsy driving accidents involving commercial trucks.
In response to the shortage, some trucking companies have turned to hiring less experienced and potentially less qualified truck drivers. While these individuals are undoubtedly capable, the pressure of the job and the demands of long-haul routes can lead to fatigue and drowsy driving. This poses a serious safety risk to both the driver and other road users.
Our Attorneys will Fight to Maximize Your Personal Injury Compensation
At Boyce Holleman & Associates, our experienced truck accident lawyers have a singular focus on helping you get maximum compensation for your physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burden. We have a formidable track record of success and have obtained substantial compensation for our clients from powerful trucking companies, large insurance carriers, and other defendants.
We will handle all aspects of your claim from accident scene investigations to aggressive negotiations and, if necessary, courtroom representation. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our truck injury attorneys. Call 228.338.2691 or write to us online.
Drowsy Driving Accidents | Boyce Holleman & Associates
Boyce Holleman & Associates - Gulfport's champions against drowsy driving accidents. Our seasoned truck accident attorneys fight for victims' rights, securing compensation for injuries, lost wages, and pain. Navigate Gulfport's risk-prone roads like I-10 and US-49 with us. From HOS violations to company negligence, we build a compelling case. Facing powerful trucking companies? We're trial-ready. Call 228-338-2691 for a free consultation.
Service Type: Automobile accident attorney