Many government agencies have been taking steps to address the issue of fatigued truck drivers on roadways throughout the country because of the dangers these drivers pose to other motorists. New hours-of-service regulations have been passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which limit the amount of hours truck drivers can operate during a day or week. Companies and drivers that violate these rules could be facing severe penalties.
Despite having these strict rules in place, it is not easy to catch those truck drivers or companies that encourage their employees to exceed these limits. Often, they are not discovered until they cause a serious trucking accident. In early 2014, a crash in Illinois was caused by a truck driver who had allegedly been falsifying his log book. One man was killed and another seriously injured when the truck collided with several vehicles on the side of the road.
The company involved in this crash was ordered out of service after an investigation determined that all of its drivers had inaccurate logs. The driver in this crash had been on the road for nearly 26 hours, making stops in several cities before returning back to Illinois. He had greatly exceeded the amount of hours that he was allowed to drive under the hours-of-service rules.
This is not the only Illinois trucking company that has had issues with safety, especially fatigued drivers. According to a recent investigation by CBS Chicago, nearly 2,500 trucking companies in the state are on a federal watch list over a wide range of safety concerns.
The FMCSA does not have the ability to keep track of each of these companies individually. It cannot constantly check to see if these entities and their drivers are following all of the rules, and it needs to rely on computer programs to determine if any possible violations are occurring. If enough red flags arise, law enforcement officers may stop the vehicles and perform an inspection. If enough violations are discovered at that time, the drivers may be ordered off of the road until changes are made.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Your Chicago truck accident attorney can investigate the collision, and help you determine the responsible parties. You can then begin to prepare claims for compensation and damages connected to the crash.
Because these accidents often lead to extremely serious injuries, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. This allows you to have a clear understanding of your condition, as well as the expenses that will be associated with your treatment. You need to know this information before you decide whether or not to accept any settlement offers that you may have received from the insurers of the other parties.