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Truck Drivers' Fatigue and Regulations That Protect Other Road Users

Posted on in Personal Injury

truck drivers' fatigue, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyerA driver staying up for long periods of time while driving, or otherwise being distracted when driving, is a recipe for disaster in a small passenger vehicle. This can be compounded if the distracted or fatigued driver is in a semi-truck.

Due to the size of semi-trucks and other commercial trucks, an accident involving one or more such truck can have devastating results.

Under federal rules, truck drivers are not supposed to work more than 70 hours a week to ensure that they do not drive when fatigued. There are also limitations on the number of hours drivers of commercial vehicles transporting passengers can drive. Illinois has adopted these federal regulations. Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed and with more demands to meet consumer needs faster, a trucking company may expect their drivers to drive more hours than is safe. When these drivers have been on the road longer than they can physically handle, accidents happen and other people can get injured or killed.

These regulations mean that carriers or truck companies must keep records showing how long their drivers are on the road. Drivers are meant to keep log books, or rely on electronic on-board recorders to document the hours they spend driving, as well as the hours they spend resting during their working hours. These records can prove useful to a plaintiff seeking compensation after an accident to prove that the driver was driving fatigued. In addition, a driver's overall work record can prove useful in determining if the driver was a frequent violator of the rules, or otherwise failed to take care when driving or transporting cargo.

Under the law, truck companies can be criminally prosecuted or fined if their drivers intentionally violate the rules. In cases where a company either intentionally encourages drivers to drive more hours than is safe, or those that simply fail to ensure that their drivers are not driving fatigued, the companies can be held jointly responsible with the driver for the accident. This means that the plaintiff can recover compensation from the company as an employer of the truck driver—a better outcome for the plaintiff because the kinds of injuries that are sustained in accidents with trucks are often catastrophic and require more frequent or longer lasting medical care.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one was injured in an automobile accident or otherwise due to the negligence of another driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for you while you recover. Please contact the experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for a free consultation. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to provide you with professional assistance today.



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