Articles Posted in Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is an ongoing issue and danger on our roads that needs addressed. It is far too often that truck drivers get behind the wheel when exhausted thereby creating an extreme danger for all others on the road with them. Our attorneys file lawsuits to punish wrongdoers like these and prevent future incidents of recklessness through our legal action. We encourage our readers to also take a stance against this important safety issue and spread the awareness to their loved ones and friends. Driver fatigue is a serious issue, so it is important to raise awareness of tragic events linked to fatigue to help put a stop to these dangerous behaviors.

According to a recent article by ABC, truck driver fatigue was a major factor in a recent Stevenson Expressway crash in which six people were injured. The accident occurred on the Stevenson Expressway near 1st Avenue. The driver of a semi-truck fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into 13 vehicles. Not only did the crash occur on a busy Chicago highway, but this was also in a construction zone and around 5 a.m. on a weekday when commuters are hitting the road. As a result, six people suffered personal injuries, and all inbound lanes of I-55 at 1st Avenue were shut down. The truck driver admitted to state police that he fell asleep at the wheel. Charges have not been filed, but the investigation is still ongoing.

One commuter was on her way to work at the time when her vehicle was hit by the semi. She suffered a broken neck and clavicle as a result of the accident and has ongoing pains in her side. A car in the accident was ejected into the air, flew over, and landed directly on top of this victim’s car.
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Trucks are extremely important modes of transportation for commerce throughout the country. Fleets of trucks are employed by companies to transport goods across long distances. What we might not consider though, is that when these trucks are traveling long distances and at high speeds on our highways and interstates, an accident can cause quite a bit of damage and mess and require serious clean-up to make the roads useable and safe again. Not only are trucks large vehicles that are massive in size and can cause serious damage and the potential for injuries when involved in a truck accident, but spilled cargo can complicate things, too.

According to one recent article by ABC, a truck accident caused a large spill of ramen noodles that blocked off Interstate 95. According to the highway patrol, a driver of a tractor-trailer fell asleep at the wheel and crashed, spilling the cargo of the truck across the road. The driver was quoted as saying how he thought he would be able to make it to a truck stop, but ended up dozing off, and the next thing he knew he had taken out the guard rail on the road. The truck hit a bridge and then broke apart, splitting in half. Thankfully, no one was injured in this accident.
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It’s in the news all too often and needs to come to an end. Drivers are often getting behind the wheel with too little sleep or staying behind the wheel for too many hours straight. This is dangerous because it leads drivers to lose focus from the road and even fall asleep behind the wheel. These actions can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries or even fatalities.

These accidents are preventable too. A driver should never get behind the wheel when they are too tired to drive. It is too often that commercial drivers face pressure from their employers to drive too many hours in a row to complete a job, which leads them to driving while too tired and even falling asleep. It is also too common that non-commercial drivers act negligently and choose to drive when they are too tired too. When an accident occurs because of their fatigue, they have breached their legal duty. All driver have a legal duty to drive safely and not be the cause of an accident or injuries to others when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Despite widespread efforts to educate the public on the dangers, another report of an Illinois accident caused by drowsy driving was once again in the news. According to an article by The Southern, drowsy driving was the cause of a recent Illinois truck accident. A man from Pickneyville was injured in a one-vehicle accident. He was driving his pickup truck in the early evening on Illinois 142 when he fell asleep behind the wheel and crossed over the center line. His truck then left the roadway and struck an embankment. Police cited him for improper lane usage and failure to wear a seat belt.
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Fatigued truck drivers has been frequently highlighted in the news, especially after numerous truck accidents where drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel from driving for too long. By requiring truck driver employees to work so many hours in a row without enough of a break to significantly rest, companies are endangering not only their employees but everyone else on the roads with the truck drivers. When demanding so many logged hours of drivers, companies are putting profit above protecting human life.

This issue has been highlighted by major news sources again recently, in an article by ABC. In the video report of this article, it is reported that in 2012 alone there were 300,000 large truck crashes and 4,000 fatalities. It is all too often that truck drivers are excessively speeding or tailgating cars in front of them. Very often the cause of this is driving while too tired from logging too many hours behind the wheel in a row. The video interviews one truck driver, where the viewer can hear his truck radio instructing the truck driver to continue driving even though he said he was falling asleep behind the wheel. The driver was informed over the radio that there was no choice in this matter and that he would have to continue driving. Instead of understanding the safety at issue, the dispatcher became rather terse and intimidating to the driver by begging the question of if the driver is wondering where his paycheck is going to come from. Understandably, with pressures like these, many truck drivers may feel compelled to log more hours than their body can handle without rest.
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It is no secret that Illinois roads, particularly those in and around Chicago, are busy at all times of day and night. With so many drivers on the roads, motor vehicle accidents are more likely due to congestion. However, these accidents are even more likely to occur when people do not practice safe driving and engage in negligent and reckless behavior.

According to a recent news report by the Chicago Tribune, a 35-year-old man died when his car crashed into a construction pickup truck. The accident occurred on Interstate 57 in the Chicago south suburb of Markham. Reports indicate that the man was driving south on the interstate when for an unknown reason he veered and hit the unoccupied truck that was on the left side of the highway. The accident occurred near 159th Street around 12:50 a.m. in the morning. No one else was injured in this collision, but the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

While the reason for this collision is unknown, it is important to discuss several factors in accidents that occur at night. For one, as we have discussed before, driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous and also negligent. Seeing as this accident happened around 1 a.m., it may be possible that this driver was tired and unable to properly drive. When drivers are fatigued they can easily nod off behind the wheel. Even a moment of inattention from fatigue can result in veering off the road and ending up in a deadly accident.
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Trucking accidents caused as a result of driver fatigue and hit and run incidents are two issues that we frequently discuss on this blog. Our lawyers hope that by drawing attention to the issues, we can educate drivers about the dangers and prevent future accidents Unfortunately, in a recent incident both of these factors were at play.

According to a recent article by, a fatal semi-truck accident occurred on Interstate 70. The local authorities explained that an Impala was driving westbound on the interstate when the driver lost control, swerved to the right and then the left, and was then struck by a semi-truck. Following the collision, the semi-truck fled the scene and did not stop to attend to the accident. After this semi-truck hit and ran from the accident, a second semi-truck hit the Impala, which caused it to go into a ravine and the semi-truck to roll over.

Illinois State Police have hypothesized that the cause of the crash may be due to the driver of the Impala falling asleep just prior to the first collision. He had just completed an overnight shift at a fast food restaurant. After the collision he was pronounced dead at the scene.
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It has been an unfortunate trend in the news as of lately to hear stories of accidents involving truck drivers who are both driving fatigued and falsifying their log book records, thereby fraudulently driving over the permitted amount of hours. As a result of this negligence and recklessness, many innocent people have suffered personal injuries and untimely deaths. Like the incident that happened this past winter on I-88 in Aurora, another similar incident of falsified log books has occurred in the Chicago area.

According to an article by NBC Chicago the Illinois State Police reported that a semi-truck driver was going faster than the posted construction site speed limit and slammed into a car. This caused a chain reaction crash with three other vehicles and another semi-truck. As a result of this accident, four Illinois residents were killed and four others suffered personal injuries. Several required being extricated from the crashed vehicles, and one was airlifted to the local hospital.

According to the same article, the driver of the tractor-trailer was charged and now held on a $1 million bail. He was charged with falsifying his log book, willful violation of a log book, and failure to reduce speed. He had started work at about 2:30 a.m., not 6:30 a.m. Furthermore, this individual had a history of traffic violations going back to 1991, including three for speeding and others for driving without a valid license and other commercial vehicle violations.

This accident leads many to question why this driver, who has a record of being reckless, was permitted to operate a commercial vehicle and pose a danger to others on the highways. Not only did he have a history of violations that posed safety hazards to many on the roads, but despite his many run-ins with the law, this driver has continued to present a threat through falsified log books and excessive speeding.
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Fatigued driving has been in the spotlight frequently lately. Our lawyers have read a number of reports linking drowsy or overly exhausted drivers with serious or fatal accidents. Although all drivers need to be aware of the great dangers associated with tired driving, the issue is especially important for truckers and trucking companies due to the nature of the industry. Oftentimes truckers are faced with the dilemma of deciding between completing a run or pulling over for a few hours of rest. Although they may be faced with pressure from their employers to meet strict deadlines, we stress the importance of truckers choosing rest and safety over work deadlines.

According to a report by a family escaped a moving truck accident without serious injury after the truck in which they were riding tumbled down a concrete embankment. Police report that the father was driving the truck southbound on the interstate and crashed into a guardrail near the exit. The truck then rolled down the concrete slope into the frontage yard. This accident is still under investigation, but police say the crash may have been caused by fatigue.

This accident is noteworthy due to the fact that the family escaped this truck accident, not only alive, but without any serious injury. As our readers know, truck accidents are extremely dangerous and likely to cause to serious and permanent personal injuries that are life-altering to survivors. Oftentimes, these injuries can include nerve damage, paralysis, broken bones, loss of limb, and damage to vital areas of the body such as the head and neck.
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Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of drowsiness when driving in your vehicle? This can be characterized by yawning repeatedly, having trouble keeping your eyes open, having a slowed reaction time, or even drifting out of your own lane. If the answer is yes, you have experienced the common case of driver fatigue, or “Driving While Drowsy” (DWD), a very large concern for many Illinois drivers.

The Illinois Department of Transportation lists DWD as a cause of around 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths every year. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This not only results in deaths and injuries, but also close to $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. A truck accident lawyer at our law firm recently learned that three people were killed and three were injured in an out of state accident after a semi-truck driver fell asleep at the wheel.

With thousands of trucks, cars, and motorcycles traveling Illinois roadways, highways, and interstates each day, it is a sad truth that many accidents and collisions are bound to take place. As often as our truck accident law firm hears about various forms of motor vehicle accidents that occur throughout Illinois and across the country, it remains difficult to grasp that so many of those accidents are caused by careless drivers. The fact that so many injuries and deaths are placed upon innocent individuals and families is saddening when the accidents they were involved in could have easily been prevented. An example of an act of driver negligence that our lawyers are familiar with is driving while fatigued. As of yesterday, we learned that a federal investigation of a crash between a semi-truck and a police cruiser that killed an Illinois State Police trooper revealed the truck driver had been working more than 14 hours and fell asleep at the wheel.

The Chicago Sun Times and reported that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) records show the 26-year old driver and United Van Lines have been fined for violating rules requiring truck drivers to get enough rest before driving. Though the driver has not yet been charged in connection with the death of the trooper, he and United Van Lines are cooperating with authorities and are “deeply saddened” by the trooper’s death.

This truck driver, along with many others, has violated the “14-hour rule,” which states that a commercial truck driver cannot work for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. In recent months, the FMSCA has created new federal hours-of-service rules designed to limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate, and many trucking organizations were less than pleased. Our lawyers read a report released by detailing the enforcement of these new rules, which as of recently had led to litigation.

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