Chicago Truck Driver Fatigue

One of the most dangerous hazards on the road today in Illinois is a 40-ton tractor-trailer vehicle controlled by someone with driver fatigue. Lemont driver fatigue accidents occur when drivers become over tired from long hours behind the wheel. When sleepy drivers and large vehicles are put together, every motorist on the road becomes a potential accident victim.

According to the Institute for Highway Safety, 5,000 people were killed and another 100,000 were injured in accidents involving large commercial trucks in 2010. Many of these truck accidents can be attributed to distracted driving, over-weighted truck and load issues, and truck defects such as faulty brakes. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that of these fatalities, at least 750 deaths have been directly linked to truck driver fatigue.

Lemont Accident Injury Attorneys

While carrier companies would like the general public to believe otherwise, many truckers who get behind the wheel are impaired from excessive drive times and too little sleep. Despite the specific regulations prohibiting the practice, many carriers push for drivers to exceed their drive times, sometimes significantly. Accident injury attorneys have found that many truckers go 24 hours or more without sleep.

Whether trying to increase their own paychecks, or due to pressure from their carrier company to meet specific, unrealistic deadlines, sleepy drivers lose their ability to respond quickly to potentially deadly situations. In a 40-ton vehicle, a driver-fatigue truck accident can be just as disastrous as a drug and alcohol-related truck accident.

The Law and Log Book Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Association, a division of the U.S. Transportation Department, oversees all of the nation’s carrier companies and their drivers. The association is tasked with ensuring that these companies maintain safe practices to prevent accidents from occurring. The FMCA recently reduced the number of hours drivers can work each week from 82 to 70. New requirements also limit hours of service in the following ways:

  • Maximum of 11 hours of driving per day, followed by 10 consecutive hours of rest
  • Maximum of 14 total hours worked after beginning a shift each day
  • Mandatory 30-minute breaks every 8 hours
  • Mandatory rest period between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. two nights every week

Drivers are required to record their schedule in a log for future reference. However, these logs are often inaccurate and incomplete, sometimes intentionally. If you feel like driver fatigue played a part in your truck accident, contact the injury attorneys at Cary J. Wintroub & Associates by calling (312) 726-1021 to set up a free consultation.

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