May 17, 2013

Semi Truck Driver Arrested For DUI and Driver Fatigue

by Levin & Perconti

State Police have recently reported the arrest of a truck driver who has been charged with multiple drunk driving charges after a traffic accident Monday night, according to Wgem.com. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our law firm learned that the driver of Roodhouse, Illinois was driving west on I-72 in Pike County just before 11pm when he drove his semi-trailer into a wooded area off of the road. After authorities arrived at the scene, the driver was taken to a nearby hospital, only having suffered minor injuries.

When later questioned regarding the accident, the driver stated he fell asleep behind the wheel. He was arrested for DUI, illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage, improper lane usage, driving while fatigued, operation of a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence, and unlawful possession of alcohol in a commercial motor vehicle.

From the perspective of our lawyers, accidents involving semi trucks, trailer trucks, or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences for not only the drivers of these trucks, but potentially other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Though the accident described above was fortunately a single-vehicle accident, it could have easily been prevented. There were clearly two primary factors at play that caused the truck driver to drive off of the road: driving while fatigued and driving under the influence.

The above accident occurred at 11pm, a time when driver exhaustion and fatigue commonly become a cause of distracted driving. Driver fatigue is an extremely severe issue in Illinois and throughout the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driver fatigue because of the long hours they travel each day and into the late hours of the night. Drowsy driving can be compared to drinking and driving, as both drastically decrease driver awareness and increase behavior that can lead to accidents. Despite this already large risk for the truck driver, he was also irresponsibly drinking while driving, presumably leading to even more distraction.

If you feel drowsy before entering your vehicle, refrain from driving or allow another individual to drive for you. If any other circumstances arise that could potentially distract you from driving as attentively as possible, use good judgment in determining what actions you can take to remain safe behind the wheel. Truck drivers face many regulations before driving, such as ensuring they are well rested, all equipment is working properly, and they are not drinking and driving. For other motorists, it is important to follow similar guidelines before driving.

Every year, our law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Truck accident lawsuits can help compensate accident victims for potential personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of a trucking accident.

Those involved in a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident caused by a truck driver’s reckless or negligent behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of a truck accident, please contact us for more information.