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IL truck accident lawyerWhen a large commercial vehicle is involved in an accident with a standard automobile, the results can be catastrophic. In the vast majority of these instances, the injuries suffered to the passengers of the standard motor vehicle can be long-term life-changing injuries or fatal ones. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 4,700 large trucks and busses were involved in fatal crashes throughout 2017. In many cases an accident involving a commercial truck only occurs due to the negligence of the operator or the trucking company itself.

Types of Negligence Leading to Commercial Trucking Accidents

With thousands of fatal commercial trucking accidents occurring throughout the United States each year, it is important to understand the leading factors of these collisions. First off, many of these collisions could be avoided if not for driver error. Driver error is one of the leading causes of commercial trucking accidents and can range from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving at reckless speeds, or texting while driving. In other cases, a driver may be looking to make some extra money and will drive over their legal hour limit causing them to be dangerously tired or attempt to drive up hazardous terrain without chains in order to save time on their load.

While driver error is common in commercial trucking accidents, employer oversight or negligence can oftentimes be the leading cause of a collision. Commercial trucking companies will oftentimes pressure their drivers into falsifying their logs to drive over the legal hours mark and overload a vehicle’s cargo weight making it more difficult to operate and stop. These types of employer pressures are dangerous to employees and other drivers on the road. If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, it is time to seek out the help of a qualified legal professional.

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IL accident lawyerGetting in a truck accident is a great fear for many people. Trucks themselves are large and often carry hefty loads of cargo. When driving, people are often cautious of trucks, but deadly accidents still happen. Drivers can take certain precautions when sharing the road with truck drivers, but a negligent truck driver or company is no match for small errors passenger car drivers can make.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that in 2018, 4,136 people died as a result of getting into an accident with a truck. The majority of these deaths were people in passenger cars. Truck drivers have the advantage of being protected in a vehicle that weighs upwards of 30 times more than an average car. A truck can roll over, but in an accident with another smaller vehicle, a semi-truck is likely to come up on top.

When a truck accident is caused by a negligent truck driver or company, reasons for this happening can include but are not limited to, an overtired driver, a driver working past the legal limit of driving hours, a company not doing a thorough inspection of their feet. Other drivers cannot control these things, but they can make decisions for a safer roadway with trucks.

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IL accident lawyerEveryone gets tired while doing their jobs. However, when a truck driver gets fatigued, the result can be fatal. In 2017, 4,102 people died as the result of a truck accident. The majority of these deaths are people in passenger cars, so when a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, it is the drivers around that suffer.

To prevent driver fatigue the United States Department of Transportation has rules and regulations regarding truck drivers. These rules keep in mind the truck drivers well-being as well as keep the roads safer. Each time a truck driver beings a shift, it must begin with 10 consecutive hours of rest. In-between rest periods, drivers are limited to 14 hours of being on duty. Three of those hours must be used for breaks while on the road, totaling 11 hours of driving time. After eight hours, the driver must take a 30-minute break as well. A driver is limited to 60 hours total on duty during a seven-day period, and 70 hours during an eight-day period. Before restarting a seven-day work week, a driver must rest for 32 consecutive hours that include hours of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. twice.

Before 2011, the cut off for time worked for truck drivers was 82 hours. The new rules were put in place to give truck drivers adequate rest. However, many drivers and companies disagreed with the new regulations because they cut down on productive work hours. Since the amount of truck accidents caused by fatigue totals only 7%, compared to brake errors and negligent driving, many people in the industry claim the cuts were unnecessary.

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IL injury lawyerPulling up next to a semi-truck makes many drivers nervous. Trucks are not only intimidating in size but in the United States, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds on the road. Truck accidents are more complicated than car accidents because there are more factors involved. During a car accident, it is usually more apparent whos fault the accident was, but during a truck accident, it may be either driver or one of the companies behind the truck.

We rely on trucks and truck services to bring goods across the country. A semi-truck sees an average of 45,000 miles of usage a year. Truck drivers and their vehicles get worn down and it is important for companies to stay on top of maintenance and driving hours. When a truck is involved in an accident, here are some instances where the driver or company who owns the truck can be held liable.

Long Hours - Fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Drivers can get pressured into working long hours to fulfill delivery requirements. However, there are limits to how long a driver can legally work. From the beginning of a driving shift, up to 14 consecutive hours, the driver is only allowed to operate the vehicle for 11 hours. After the 14 hours, the driver cannot return to operating the truck for 10 consecutive hours. Even when these rules are followed, a driver can still be fatigued, but following the rules prevents the driver or truck company from being liable for the accident.

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