Proving Driver Fatigue in Trucking and Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Federal and State Laws, Evidentiary Concerns

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will guide personal injury attorneys on how to assert a driver fatigue claim following a truck or auto accident. The panel will discuss evidentiary issues, commercial trucking laws, and trial strategies for pursuing claims under this theory.


Most individuals realize the danger of driving while fatigued, but tired (or even sleeping) drivers are responsible for thousands of crashes each year. Fatigue effects everyone; just two fewer hours of sleep than usual can cause a driving impairment akin to driving intoxicated.

Driver fatigue is particularly difficult to prove from an evidentiary standpoint, so attorneys must understand the importance of conducting a comprehensive factual investigation of the accident, interviewing witnesses and drivers, and carefully examining the police report, as well as any truck or car recording devices to determine the cause.

All drivers, including those operating commercial vehicles, have a legal duty to drive responsibly, which includes not driving when extremely tired. Currently, federal law requires that truck drivers obey the specific rules when operating a large truck, and several states have passed "drowsy driver" laws impacting non-commercial auto drivers.

Listen as our distinguished panel guides personal injury attorneys on how to successfully bring a driver fatigue case following a truck or auto accident. Our panel will discuss evidentiary issues, federal and state laws, and trial strategies for pursuing claims under this theory.



  1. Definition and statistics of drowsy driving in the U.S.
  2. Federal laws for commercial drivers
  3. State laws for non-commercial drivers
  4. Evidentiary concerns
  5. Understanding cause and effect of chronic sleep debt
  6. Proving sleep debt through expert testimony


The panel will review these and other important topics:

  • How is driver fatigue defined or measured?
  • What are the federal and state laws surrounding drowsy driving?
  • What evidence needs to be collected after an accident to make a case against a drowsy driver?


Simon, Lawrence
Lawrence M. (Larry) Simon

Of Counsel
Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins

Mr. Simon is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (‘AAJ”), Chair of...  |  Read More

Wright, Matthew
Matthew Wright

Wright Law

Mr. Wright’s practice is focused on representing trucking accident victims. He has served on the Board of...  |  Read More

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