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Posts tagged "driver fatigue"

In the Permian Basin Oil Boom, Road Safety Should Not be Forgotten

Shale oil in the Permian Basin has been a boon to the West Texas economy, and has been largely responsible for the United States becoming one of the top oil producing countries in the world. However, the citizens of West Texas have paid a heavy price, one denominated in lives lost. Their roads have become some of the deadliest in America.

Uber Drivers Work Dangerously Long Shifts

According to recent reports, a combination of dropping fares, profitable incentives, and a lack of caps on the number of hours drivers can work during one shift has led some Uber drivers to work dangerously long shifts. Uber reports that only seven percent of its drivers work more than 50 hours per week, while more than half of its drivers use the Uber app less than ten hours a week. However, other sources report that it is not uncommon for Uber drivers to work up to 16 hours a day. Unlike Uber, some ride-hailing services limit the number of hours its drivers can work during a shift. For example, Lyft shuts off its app after 14 hours and requires drivers to wait six hours before they can access the app and begin driving again. In addition, Uber drivers reportedly receive notifications when they are not picking up enough passengers. Uber also offers incentives such as bonuses for completing a certain number of rides within a given timeframe, which can encourage drivers to continue driving despite fatigue.

Over 83,000 Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving Each Year

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 83,000 accidents every year related to driver fatigue. This annual average includes an estimated 886 fatal crashes, 37,000 injury crashes, and 45,000 property damage only crashes. NHTSA recognizes that these numbers are conservative estimates due to the fact that drowsy driving can only be self-reported and not measured like intoxication. Also, drowsiness is not reported when it is caused by other factors such as excessive alcohol consumption or taking medication. Although driver fatigue can cause an accident at any time during the day or night, NHTSA estimates that forty-eight percent of drowsy-driving related accidents occur between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The majority of these accidents involve a single vehicle, with no passengers other than the driver, running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking. Accidents related to driver fatigue also frequently occur on rural roads and highways.

Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Suffers a Tragedy

A collision involving an 18-wheeler and an SUV occurred on February 19, 2017. This wreck ultimately took the life of the driver of the SUV. Due to the severity of the damage, it was not until two days later that the driver's body from the SUV was identified to be that of 20-year-old Alexander Jones. Mr. Jones was a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and held the position of Command Sergeant Major for the Combined Aggie Band. He was also going to be the Commander for the Combined Aggie Band for 2018.

The Dangers of Driving Tired

A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown an increase in fatal car accidents, emphasizing the number of accidents related to sleep deprivation observed from about 4,571 crashes. A staggering 21 percent of all crashes involve at least one driver without the recommended 7 hours of sleep. About 35 percent of people get less than 7 hours of sleep, with each hour less contributing to the raised likelihood of a crash. For example, the study showed that there was a spike of 11.5 percent for anyone who had gotten less than 4 hours of sleep. It is speculated that about 4 hours of sleep or less is equivalent to a blood alcohol content level of about .12-.15. The legal driving limit is .08.

Exhausted Driving is As Dangerous and Drunk Driving

For years, we have all heard about the dangers of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In the last few years, concerns with texting and driving have become newsworthy with many municipalities making it illegal. New studies now show that sleep deprived drivers are just as dangerous as drivers who have had three to four alcoholic drinks.

New Trucking Technology Looks to Diminish Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents

Business is booming in the trucking industry, but it has come at a price. Trucking fatalities are on the rise as fatal crashes increased by 3.1 percent from 2011 to 2012 with driver fatigue being the clear leading cause. The use of paper logs to register hours of service and duty status has become outdated and easily manipulated so new federal legislation has hoped to remedy such practices by mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). When the final ELD rule is published at the end of 2015, the over 3 million truckers currently using paper logs to record duty status will have until the end of 2017 to comply with the ELD mandate.

Truck Driver Fatigue Can Cause Serious Accidents

According to the Department of Transportation, there was an average of 868 big rig crashes per day in 2012. This resulted in an average of 11 fatalities and 200 injuries every day. A 2006 Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were found to be fatigued at the time of a serious crash..

New Trucking Technology Looks to Diminish Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents

Business is booming in the trucking industry, but it has come at a price. Trucking fatalities are on the rise as fatal crashes increased by 3.1 percent from 2011 to 2012 with driver fatigue being the clear leading cause. The use of paper logs to register hours of service and duty status has become outdated and easily manipulated so new federal legislation has hoped to remedy such practices by mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). When the final ELD rule is published at the end of 2015, the over 3 million truckers currently using paper logs to record duty status will have until the end of 2017 to comply with the ELD mandate.

Fatigued Truck Drivers Present a Danger on Our Highways

In order to reduce the possibility of driver fatigue, new regulations have been implemented on commercial truck drivers' hours of service. Because of these new regulations, drivers are not allowed to drive more than 11 hours following a 10-hour break. The driver cannot be on duty more than 14 hours following that same 10-hour break, even if that entire time doesn't involve driving. These new regulations have been put into place in an effort to keep drivers fresh and alert.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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