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Long-Haul Truck Drivers Face Increased Motor Vehicle Accident Risks

Truck drivers are often required to drive more hours, putting the lives of other motorists on the road in danger.

chicago truck accident lawyerA network of truck drivers deliver products all over the country. Due to the demanding nature of the job, trucking companies are facing a shortage of employees. This has led companies to demand more from their existing truck drivers. Truckers are required to drive more hours, putting not only their lives, but the lives of other motorists on the road in danger.

What Are the Risks?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety, in a recently published report, has addressed the issues long-haul truck drivers face while working. 1,265 long-haul truck drivers were interviewed at 32 long-haul truck stops throughout the United States.

  • About 76% of the truck drivers interviewed feel that their deadlines for delivery are extremely tight. Such stringent deadlines require overtime, even if the trucker is extremely tired. Sometimes, the truckers resort to overspeeding to reach their destination on time.
  • About 35% of truck drivers reported that they have experienced at least one motor vehicle car accident in the span of their career.
  • About 38% of the truck drivers stated that they did not receive sufficient training when they started driving their trucks.

When fatigued truck drivers are compelled to meet stringent delivery deadlines, they tend to overspeed and make risky decisions. These risks multiply when a truck driver is inexperienced and not properly trained. The risk of motor vehicle accidents are significantly more for those vehicles who are on a collision course, rather than the truckers themselves. Drivers and passengers of cars, motorbikes, or pedestrians often suffer serious injuries or fatal injuries caused in an accident with a truck.

Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue

Federal regulations give truck drivers specific rules regarding how many hours can be spent behind the wheel and for meal breaks, sleep, and required rest.

To make sure that truck drivers are following federal trucking regulations, truck drivers are required to enter the details into a driver’s log. The trucking company is also required to keep records of the engine operation data on the black box recorder placed in the cab of the truck.

The Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue

In spite of strict federal regulations, truck driver fatigue is responsible for causing around 20-40 percent of truck accidents according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. Truck drivers generally never admit that they were too fatigued to drive or that they fell asleep behind the wheel. The evidence of improper driver supervision and driver fatigue can be verified by checking the truck driver’s log against the engine data on the truck’s black box.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a truck accident, it may have been caused by driver fatigue or another violation of the federal regulations on rest and sleep. In order to prove this, you may need the services of a Chicago personal injury attorney from Willens Injury Law Offices. We have extensive experience investigating the causes of truck accidents and helping victims recover appropriate damages for the losses they have suffered.

Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

Sleep deprivation and fatigue can impair a driver’s ability to operate a truck properly and safely. Drivers who sleep behind the wheel or close their eyes even for a few seconds can veer off or swerve off the road, leading to a head-on collision or other serious types of truck accidents. The main causes of truck driver fatigue include:

  • sleep deprivation
  • excessive overtime, weekly, and daily work hours
  • unrealistic schedules and deadlines set by the trucking company
  • multiple jobs of the truck driver and off duty commitments
  • personal or health problems that may limit sleep or cause fatigue

Effects of Driver Fatigue

  • loss of concentration
  • reduced awareness
  • tiredness
  • slower reaction times
  • poor alertness

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

When an accident involving a long-haul truck takes place, there are a number of legalities to be considered for both parties involved in the accident. The trucker and the occupants of the other vehicle may claim compensation for their injuries. A truck accident victim can file a claim against an at-fault truck driver; a victim may also pursue a claim against the trucking company. The reason for the accident must be carefully investigated, as it might not always be the fault of the truck driver.

If you have been the victim of a long-haul truck accidents, seek legal help from a Chicago truck accident lawyer. Call Willens Injury Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.

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