Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Thousands of trucking accidents occur every year, which can be caused by any number of trucking accident risk factors. But despite stricter hours-of-operation restrictions, trucker fatigue continues to be the primary cause of most commercial trucking accidents. In 2013, the following hour-of-service regulations were enacted in an effort to provide truckers with enough sleep to safely operate their vehicles and reduce commercial trucking accidents:
- Truck drivers are limited to a maximum average work week of 70 hours;
- Truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week may only resume driving if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights from 1- 5 a.m.;
- Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift; and
- Truck drivers are limited to an 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day
Nonetheless, some trucking companies overlook these guidelines or allow their truck drivers to ignore them. Truckers and trucking companies are influenced by deadlines and the pressure to increase revenues, which can result in unsafe practices. In some more extreme cases, truckers and trucking companies have been known to falsify log records. For this reason, last summer the FMCSA proposed rule changes that would require commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles. The proposed rule change is intended to promote compliance with the hours-of-service restrictions and other safety regulations. Depending on the cause of a trucking accident, liability can be assessed against the trucker or trucking company. If a trucker or trucking companies violates the hour-of-service regulations, the FMSCA is authorized to shut down the trucking company if it has a history of purposely violating federal trucking regulations. For instance, in November 2012, the FMCSA shut down Illinois trucking company C&D Transportation because it was found to have “willingly violated an out-of-service order and continued to operate by renting vehicles on the effective date of the OOS.” Additionally, the trucker or trucking company could also be liable for money damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Trucking accident lawsuits can involve complex factual and legal issues, however, making it important to consult with a knowledgeable trucking accident attorney. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago trucking accident attorneys are committed to keeping Illinois motorists safe and keeping risky truckers off the road. If you were injured or a loved one died in a trucking accident, contact our office at (888) 325-7299 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury lawsuit. Additional Information:
- WHAT ARE TRUCKING HOUR-OF-SERVICE LAWS?
- FMCSA SHUTS DOWN ILLINOIS TRUCKING COMPANY
- TRUCKING ACCIDENT RISK FACTORS
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.