Our Experienced Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You File an Effective Claim
A significant portion of a trucker’s career is spent traveling the open roads and making essential deliveries nationwide. Unfortunately, there isn’t much time for sightseeing or adventuring when a truck driver’s schedule is motivated by strict deadlines. In fact, many commercial vehicle operators often feel pressured to break state and federal trucking laws just to meet the rigorous demands of their companies. As a result, these truckers may partake in unsafe driving practices like forgoing off-duty hours and sacrificing sleeping breaks.
In Illinois, driver fatigue is responsible for nearly 20% of all commercial truck accidents. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident due to the negligent actions of a fatigued driver, contact the Chicago truck accident attorneys at McNabola & Associates, LLC. We can evaluate the evidence, investigate the circumstances of the accident, and develop a case strategy that effectively demonstrates the negligence of the fatigued driver.
Call our Chicago truck accident lawyer at (312) 888-8700 to explore your legal options.
Fatigued Truck Driving Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the United States Department of Transportation, implemented Hours of Service regulations to keep fatigued truckers away from public roadways. These regulations apply to any driver operating a truck or vehicle that classifies as a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
The Hours of Service regulations state the following:
- 11-Hour Driving Limit: Truckers can drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours so long as it’s preceded by 10 off-duty hours or a sleeper break.
- 14-Hour Driving Limit: Truckers can drive up to 14 hours so long as they take breaks and don’t exceed 11 consecutive driving hours.
- 30-Minute Rest Rule: This rule states that a trucker can’t surpass 8 driving hours without taking a 30-minute break or a sleeper break.
- 70-Hour Rule: A trucker can’t drive more than 70 hours within an 8-day period.
While these regulations exist to ensure public safety, some drivers falsify their logs just to meet deadlines and improve their overall travel time. However, when drivers skip breaks or don’t get enough sleep, their ability to make safe judgements is compromised. Worse, if a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, many lives could be endangered. When truck drivers begin noticing symptoms of driver fatigue, they need to pull over and rest until they can safely drive. If they ignore their symptoms, they are actively practicing negligent behaviors and should be held legally responsible.
Symptoms of driver fatigue include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Drifting between lanes
- Missing exits
A truck driver who violates any of these safety regulations may be found in egregious violation of state and federal laws. If an accident occurs, the truck driver may face serious misdemeanor or felony charges and costly penalties.
Passenger vehicles are always at a disadvantage when it comes to truck collisions. When accidents occur, victims often sustain severe and even catastrophic injuries that require significant medical attention. If you’re ready to file a claim and recover damages that may facilitate your recovery, call McNabola & Associates, LLC. Our Chicago truck accident attorney has the skills and experience to represent your case and negotiate with the trucking company and insurance providers on your behalf.
To help you pursue justice and compensation, we work on a contingency fee basis. Contact McNabola & Associates, LLCat (312) 888-8700 to schedule your free case evaluation.