Earlier today, our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys read a report on TruckingInfo.com detailing how one state has implemented a new tool for state police that uses automated license plate readers to help determine if a semi truck driver is violating hours of service regulations. The new system will automatically and electronically screen commercial vehicles who pass weigh stations for the vehicle’s weight, size, registration, safety records, as well as, how long the trucks have been traveling that day. The system uses a computer program to help validate if the commercial vehicle driver’s logbook is accurate and if hours of service are being violated.
The implementation of this program comes in lights of numerous semi truck accidents where driver fatigue was a contributing factor. During the subsequent investigations after these collisions, it was discovered that a number of drivers has falsified the information contained in their logbooks so they could travel longer distances and drive more hours. Despite the number of large commercial vehicle drivers traveling our roadways each day that operate safely and adhere to rules and regulations, there are still a number of those drivers who are irresponsible and negligent. This program will hopefully help remove unsafe drivers and ensure that all truck drivers are not driving over hours.
Hours of service regulations puts limits for when and how long a commercial vehicle driver may operate. These regulations have been implemented after substantial scientific review which ensures that semi truck drivers get the adequate rest they need in order to safely operate on our roadways. The implementation of hours of service regulations further aides in deterring semi truck accidents that transpire as a direct result of truck driver fatigue. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, research has found that truck drivers who operate behind the wheel for more than eight hours have a twofold increase in crash risk.
Our Chicago truck accident lawyers encourage more states to adopt new and improved highway tools which recognize hours of service violations for commercial vehicle drivers. When the driver of a large commercial vehicle, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, operates fatigued the results can be devastating for the driver, as well as, surrounding passenger vehicles. When a truck driver operates beyond the maximum hours of service and an accident ensues, the driver and his/her carrier may be held liable for negligence if an injury or death results.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one at the hands of a fatigued semi truck driver, please contact the Chicago semi truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti. Our experienced accident attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.