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Was Your Illinois Truck Accident Caused by Driver Fatigue?

Posted on in Auto Accidents

Wood Dale personal injury attorney truck accident

Driving a commercial truck across the country is a challenging profession. Truck drivers must contend with long days, unpredictable work schedules, and erratic sleeping patterns. Fatigue can have a considerable impact on a person’s ability to drive – especially when people are maneuvering a large commercial truck. Sleepiness causes lowered reaction times, impaired decision-making, tunnel vision, and memory problems. Drivers who are extremely sleep deprived may even fall asleep at the wheel. Federal law has instituted restrictions designed to curb the frequency of fatigued driver truck accidents. Unfortunately, truck accidents caused by sleepiness or falling asleep at the wheel are still alarmingly common.  

Hours of Service Rules Are Intended to Prevent Fatigued Driving

Adults are supposed to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. The less sleep an individual gets at night, the greater their chances of being involved in a car accident the next day. In fact, a study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that missing as little as one or two hours of sleep nearly doubles the chances of being involved in a collision. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted certain restrictions on the number of hours that commercial truck drivers may drive consecutively without stopping for a rest break. For example, truck drivers carrying property may drive for a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. However, these regulations were recently loosened in order to provide truck drivers greater flexibility while dealing with increased demand due to COVID-19.

Falsification of Logbooks and Unreasonable Trucking Company Demands

Truck drivers are expected to keep track of the number of hours they drive and when they take rest breaks. This information is often recorded via an electronic logging device or in a “logbook.” Unfortunately, some drivers falsify information about drive time and rest breaks in order to meet tight delivery deadlines. Some trucking companies allow or even encourage drives to violate the restrictions imposed by the FMCSA. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, it is very possible that truck driver fatigue played a crucial role in the accident. The driver’s logbook or electronic logging device along with data from the truck’s event data recorder (EDR) may be valuable sources of evidence when pursuing a truck accident claim.

Contact an Elmhurst Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a truck accident caused by a fatigued driver, you may be able to hold the liable party accountable and recover compensation through a personal injury claim. A skilled DuPage County personal injury attorney from Kaiser Hafezi Law can help you gather evidence and build a strong case for seeking damages. Call our office today at 630-233-9946 to arrange a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/12/missing-1-2-hours-sleep-doubles-crash-risk/

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations

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