Commercial truck drivers in South Carolina handle some of the largest vehicles on the road and are responsible for hauling heavy loads for very long distances. The demands of the job can often lead to truck driver fatigue, which can result in serious accidents.
Truck driver fatigue: How it causes accidents
Truck drivers often work long hours, sometimes driving for days or even weeks at a time. The monotony of the open road combined with the pressure to meet deadlines can lead to truck driver fatigue. When exhausted, truck drivers may have trouble staying alert and focused on the task of driving. They may also have slowed reaction times and become poor at making decisions.
When an accident occurs
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s important that you seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be immediately apparent.
However, before you leave the scene, you should take pictures and videos of your injuries and vehicle damages, as well as witness statements and their contact information. This information will be critical when filing a lawsuit or insurance claim. Also, the law requires that motor vehicle accidents that cost $1000 or more in South Carolina be reported to relevant authorities. And since you can’t tell the extent of the damage amidst the chaos, it’s better to call the police and have them come to the scene.
Proving fault when filing a lawsuit
South Carolina follows an at-fault model when it comes to car accidents. This means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damages. In a truck accident case, this will typically be the truck driver or their employer.
To prove that the truck driver or their employer is at fault, you will need to show that they were negligent. Negligence in South Carolina is basically failing to take reasonable care under the circumstances which resulted in an injury or property damage. For example, if a truck driver were speeding and caused an accident, they would be considered negligent.
Given how big trucks are, an accident is often catastrophic. Therefore, they are laws in place that aim to curb fatigue. For example, they can’t drive for more than 11 hours in a day and must rest for at least ten consecutive hours before their next job.