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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.


Palatine personal injury attorneyCommercial semi-trucks account for over 100 fatal crashes and 2,000 crashes causing injury in Illinois each year, and the majority of the victims are the occupants of other vehicles. Many of these accidents are caused by an error on the part of the driver, perhaps related to driver fatigue, speeding, or drunk driving. However, a substantial number are also caused by improper loading or maintenance before the truck even takes to the road. If you are injured in one of these accidents, it is important that you understand all possible options for compensation.

Trucking Industry Regulations for Maintenance and Loading

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues regulations for interstate truck drivers and trucking companies throughout the United States to ensure safe vehicle operation. Regarding maintenance, the FMCSA requires regular inspections of trucks and trucking equipment to identify any necessary repairs, as well as detailed record-keeping of repairs and maintenance. Any truck determined to be unsafe for the road must not be driven until it has been adequately repaired.

Regarding cargo loading, trucking companies must ensure a safe weight distribution throughout the truck, as well as the proper securement of any cargo that may shift in transit. The securement devices used must be sufficient to withstand the regular forces of acceleration and deceleration, and specific devices must be used for certain types of cargo that can roll.

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