Our Chicago semi truck accident attorneys recently read a report in the Courier Press recounting a fatal Illinois semi truck accident. The 70-year-old semi truck driver was traveling through a construction zone along Interstate 57 in Southern Illinois when his vehicle collided into numerous roadside concrete barricades. The collision caused the commercial vehicle to overturn off the interstate – subsequently igniting in flames. The blaze caused the roadways to remain closed for a substantial period of time while emergency personnel attempted to put out the flames and remove the driver from the wreckage. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
With daily reports of fatal truck accidents, many seek to distinguish a common factor to explain the causes of these devastating accidents. We increasingly view news reports about crash rates in relation to advanced driver age. The University of Kentucky recently conducted a study to determine whether semi truck driver age affected the likelihood that a semi truck driver would be at fault in a collision with another vehicle. The final results of the study concluded that the age group that was the highest risk for at-fault semi truck collisions were truck drivers ages 65 and older. On the other hand, the study also found that the company of truck passengers had a positive effect on older drivers and lead to fewer accidents.
Presently, there are no maximum age restrictions on drivers of large commercial vehicles. Under current regulations provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial vehicle drivers are mandated to adhere to the following requirements:
– Driver needs to be at least 21-years-old – Ability to speak and read English – Must have a valid commercial motor vehicle operator’s license – Completion of driver road test – Must be physically qualified to drive – verified by a medical examiner’s certificate Unfortunately, many medical certificates are hazardously being granted to medically unfit drivers or even forged. In 2006, the Associate Press revealed that violations of federal truck medical rules have been discovered in every state – including Illinois. One of the most frequent violations included failure to carry a valid medical certificate.
Our Illinois accident attorneys continue to provide experienced legal representation to those who have sustained severe harm or even death as the result of driver negligence. Our attorneys seek to hold unsafe carriers and unfit drivers responsible for their negligent conduct. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi truck accident, please contact a Chicago personal injury attorney to see what legal rights may be available to you.