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Sleepy Truck Drivers Can Cause Serious Accidents

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Waukegan truck accident lawyersAnyone who has driven a semi-truck for a living can tell you that it is not an easy job. Truck drivers are expected to drive extremely long distances and endure erratic sleep schedules. However, this is no excuse to drive unsafely. Fatigued truck drivers can make careless driving errors or even fall asleep at the wheel putting other motorists in life-threatening danger. If you were injured in an accident caused by a fatigued or otherwise negligent truck driver, you could be eligible for compensation.

Recent Study Highlights the Danger Fatigued Truck Drivers Pose

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted an extensive study regarding truck accidents. According to their research, approximately 13 percent of serious traffic accidents involving large trucks are caused by a fatigued driver. When drivers are too sleepy, they can drift into other lanes without knowing it or even crash into other vehicles. Considering many truck drivers are operating vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a truck accident can cause severe damage. Other causes of serious truck accidents include equipment failure, driver error, driver drug and medication use, and distracted driving.

Rules Regarding Truck Driver Rest

Fatigued and overworked truck drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road around them. Because of this risk, state and federal regulations dictate how often truck drivers must stop to rest as well as how many hours they can drive in a certain time period.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck drivers to pull over and take regular breaks. Drivers must document these breaks, as well as the hours which they slept, in a logbook. These logbooks can be critical pieces of evidence in a negligence claim against a truck driver or trucking company. Drivers who ignore federal guidelines regarding driving hours and rest could be held liable for damages caused by an accident.

Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?

The issue of liability in an accident involving an 18-wheeler or a semi-truck depends on the circumstances of the accident and other factors. Sometimes, a truck accident is not the fault of the driver at all and the blame instead lies with a faulty or defective truck. Parties that can be legally responsible for damages in a truck accident include but are not limited to:

  • The driver of the truck;
  • The owner of the truck;
  • The driver’s employer;
  • The company leasing the truck;
  • The owner of the leasing company;
  • The owner of the trailer or company leasing the trailer;
  • The truck and/or trailer manufacturer; and
  • The manufacturer of truck or trailer components.

Contact a Waukegan, Illinois Truck Accident Injury Attorney

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other large truck, speak with an experienced Lake County personal injury lawyer for help. Call 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation at Salvi & Maher, LLC today. We only collect our fees if you receive compensation.

 

Sources:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rules-to-curb-sleepy-truck-drivers-are-breaking-down/

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