Illinois has an expansive network of highways and interstates. It is also a state that is a major hub of business. Combining these two factors, Illinois roads are often filled with large trucks to transports goods throughout the state and across the state lines for many companies and services. While people often think of Chicago as the spot for congested roads, many of the highways throughout the state are used every day by truck drivers, who are often on long routes to make pick-ups or deliveries. That being known, truck accidents can happen anywhere, and it is important for truck drivers and all drivers alike on the roads to always practice safe driving and avoid reckless and negligent behavior.
According to a recent article by Central Illinois Proud, a rollover accident occurred which sent the driver of a semi-truck to the hospital. The accident occurred on I-74 at milepost 78 after 2:30 in the morning. Reports by police have indicated that the semi-truck left the roadway and struck a guardrail. This caused the truck to then roll over. The investigation of this accident is still under way. Although no other vehicles were involved in this accident, it highlights the potential dangers associated with drowsy or sleep-deprived drivers.
Because investigations are still ongoing, it is not clear what caused this rollover accident. However, it is still important to discuss factors that can impact truck drivers and safe driving. For instance, in the media and legal community, drowsy driving has been an important issue. There is a lot of dialogue lately discussing commercial truckers who improperly log hours or companies that assign long shifts. Lawmakers are now focused on how to make employees and companies comply with the law and keep roads safe. For instance, according to an article by the New York Times, many truck drivers have been resisting the rules on sleep despite knowing the risk of drowsy driving. In fact, federal lawmakers have been trying to ensure that truck drivers get adequate rest now for decades. However, since commercial trucking is a business that operates on efficiency and is most profitable when work gets completed quickly, these businesses and their employees have resisted the law and bent the rules (ex: by fraudulently altering logs).
When working long shifts without breaks, truck drivers (or any driver for that matter) can become extremely fatigued and fall asleep behind the wheel, resulting in serious collisions with other motor vehicles on the road. For instance, according to the same article by the New York Times, the recent truck accident this summer involving Tracy Morgan has also brought drowsy driving into the limelight. Allegedly, the truck driver in that accident had not slept in over 24 hours at the time of the collision. Fatigued driving is so prevalent that it is a leading cause of accidents and fatalities. Every year, over 30,000 people die on U.S. highways, and crashes involving large trucks are the cause of one in seven of those 30,000 deaths. Consider if fatigued driving was decreased how many more lives could be saved.
While commercial trucking companies argue against sleep regulations for drivers, our attorneys stand by the belief that companies should never put profits before people. Drowsy driving is not only negligent, but is reckless and disregards the safety, well-being, and lives of other people on the road. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident where a driver was fatigued, you may be able to hold that truck driver and his/her employer company liable in a truck accident lawsuit. Our attorneys would be happy to speak to you about your legal options in a free consultation, so do not hesitate to give us a call. You may be able to obtain the compensation and justice that you deserve.