Recently, our Illinois trucking accident attorneys read a report on BangorDailyNews.com that detailed a destructive semi truck accident that took the life of a 5 year old boy. While the accident is currently still under investigation, reports state that the accident occurred as a result of the semi truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel. The 57 year old semi truck driver was hauling a tractor trailer loaded with logs on U.S Route 201 when he fell asleep and struck two utility poles and ultimately crashing into a nearby house. Upon collision with the utility poles, the semi truck’s contents fell onto the house, causing its collapse. The young boy who was killed was sleeping on the couch when the house collapsed. The other five residents of the house were taken to the hospital for their injuries.
Semi driver fatigue has played a reoccurring factor in trucking accidents across the country. Driver fatigue commonly occurs as a result of lack of sleep, lack of quality sleep, prolonged driving, in addition to, lack of breaks. Fatigue ultimately leads to deterioration in driving performance, weakened steering ability, inability to maintain distance with surrounding vehicles, and subsequently the increased inclination to mentally withdraw from the duty of driving — according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Due to the common occurrence of semi truck driving accidents as a result of driver fatigue, the FMCSA regulates drivers with hours of service policies. These regulations limit the amount of hours a semi truck driver is able to operate.
The report does not confirm if whether the driver is currently facing any charges or if the family of the deceased boy is seeking legal action. From our experience as Chicago truck accident attorneys, it appears as though this is a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death cases arise when the wrongful or negligent conduct of others causes a premature death. The family of the deceased may be able to seek damages including: medical, funeral, and burial expenses, as well as, punitive damages that punish the wrongdoer’s negligent behavior.
Our Chicago accident attorneys send our sincere condolences to those who have been negatively affected by such a devastating accident. Truck drivers are held to an increased level of responsibility to the public to maintain the safety of their vehicle. Due to a semi trucks sheer size and weight, a wrong move could prove deadly for the driver or anyone else in its path. When proper trucking regulations are followed, these types of accident can be easily avoided.