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Arlington Heights personal injury lawyersFor many drivers, sharing the road with large commercial trucks can be frightening. These vehicles are much larger and heavier than passenger cars and trucks, and a collision with a semi-trailer truck can result in devastating injuries. There are a variety of factors that can lead to truck accidents, but driver fatigue is one of the biggest concerns, since a truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel or attempts to operate a vehicle while drowsy can cause serious harm to other drivers, their passengers, or pedestrians. 

Increased Concerns About Truck Driver Fatigue

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led many people to remain at home and avoid traveling, fewer people have been using the roads in Illinois and throughout the United States. However, this has also led to an increase in products being ordered online, which has resulted in additional trucks on the nation’s roads to ensure that cargo is shipped and delivered quickly. Due to a shortage in the number of truck drivers in the U.S., the increased need to deliver products means that fewer drivers are being required to drive more often, which may increase the chances that drivers will be pushing their limits and operating their vehicles when they are unable to do so safely.

The federal government has created regulations meant to prevent truck driver fatigue and ensure that drivers can remain awake and aware of the conditions on the road at all times. Under these hours-of-service regulations, truck drivers can drive for a maximum of 11 hours after being off-duty for 10 hours, and they cannot drive for more than 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period. Drivers must also take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours.

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Schaumburg personal injury attorney truck accident

With I-90 and I-290 passing through northwestern Cook County, Illinois motorists share the road with a large number of semi-trucks and are at risk of falling victim to the accidents they often cause. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports over 10,000 accidents involving large trucks each year, with a troubling 5.2 percent increase in fatalities caused by semi-truck accidents from 2017 to 2018. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing not only severe injuries and costly medical expenses, but also the challenge of identifying all liable parties in order to seek compensation.

Possible Parties at Fault in a Truck Accident

Any accident caused by the negligence of another party can result in compensation for injury victims, but depending on the nature and causes of a truck accident, a number of parties may share in the liability. Some of the most frequently at-fault parties include:

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Schaumburg personal injury attorney nighttime car accident

According to studies by the National Safety Council (NSC), despite the fact that nighttime driving represents only a quarter of all driving activity, 50 percent of all traffic fatalities occur at night, and safety behind the wheel during the twilight hours should be a crucial priority for all drivers. The chances of being involved in car accidents with injuries at night are significantly higher than at other times of day. This can be due to a number of factors, such as fatigued or intoxicated drivers. If you have been involved in a collision that was caused by another driver's negligent driving at night, you should work with a personal injury attorney to determine your options for recovering financial compensation for your damages.

What You Can Do to Decrease Your Chances of Injury

While driving at night may be more dangerous than driving during the daylight hours, there are a number of ways motorists can decrease the likelihood of being involved in a collision. Drawing on compiled report data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the NSC recommends that drivers practice the following precautions when operating their vehicles at night:

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Palatine car accident injury attorney

Startling findings from the National Sleep Foundation within the last year show that 60 percent of American drivers have driven while drowsy, and 37 percent have admitted to going as far as falling asleep behind the wheel. The National Safety Council (NSC) has taken this time of year as an opportunity to remind us that driver fatigue is a serious form of impaired driving, and a major cause of car accidents all across the nation, as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week recently took place during the month of November. With the increased amount of travel on the highways during the holidays, now seems a more fitting time than ever to heighten everyone’s awareness of the dangers of driving while sleepy.

How to Spot a Drowsy Driver 

You may already be familiar with the telltale signs of driving fatigue, such as “nodding off” or frequent yawning. Constant blinking, disconnected thoughts, or having difficulty remembering the last few miles you drove are other signs that you are too tired to drive. How can you spot drowsy drivers around you, though, and would you be able to recognize the signs? Much like other forms of impaired or distracted driving, driver fatigue often gives off similar warning signs, which all defensive drivers should watch for, including:

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