Every year, thousands of Americans are severely or fatally injured in motor vehicle collisions involving commercial trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,213 commercial trucks were involved in fatal collisions throughout 2016 alone. This staggering number of commercial trucking fatalities marked a 3% increase in fatal accidents in comparison to the previous year. The rise in fatalities is not limited to one year; over the past seven years, fatal commercial trucking accidents have risen by an incredible 28%.
With the steady rise in deadly collisions, many believe that commercial trucking companies should do more to determine what is causing these accidents and take steps to prevent them. In a large number of fatal accidents, the collision is caused by truck driver fatigue, which can be the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver or the trucking company.
The Concern of Driver Fatigue
Throughout the United States, drowsy driving has become a national crisis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 40,000 Americans are injured in collisions caused by fatigued drivers every single year. These collisions resulted in a shocking 800 deaths in 2015 alone. With long driving shifts and cargo that needs to be delivered in a timely fashion, it should come as no surprise that commercial truck drivers are some of the most common culprits of drowsy driving.
Despite strict laws stating that a commercial truck driver can only drive for 11 hours consecutively, many truck drivers violate these restrictions. In many cases, these violations are encouraged by the truck company as a means of delivering cargo on time. Even drivers that do not violate the 11 hour rule can still display symptoms of drowsy driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once a person has remained awake for 17 hours consecutively, they begin to exhibit symptoms comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. Symptoms of fatigued driving include blurred vision, delayed reaction time, and loss of motor functions.
Here in the state of Illinois, commercial trucking accidents are alarmingly common. Throughout 2016, over 11,000 tractor-trailer trucks were involved in collisions across the state. If you or a loved one is injured in a commercial trucking accident, it is important to seek out legal assistance as soon as possible. In the vast majority of these collisions, commercial trucking companies will attempt to avoid culpability and payment of injury compensation.
Contact a Chicago Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
At Pullano & Siporin, our legal team fully understands how difficult a motor vehicle collision can be for the whole family. In motor vehicle collisions involving commercial trucks, injuries can be incredibly severe and even fatal. In many commercial truck accidents, the collision is caused by driver error or company negligence.
With years of experience and countless victories, including a confidential settlement in which a commercial truck driver falsified his logs and exceeded his limitation on consecutive driving hours, our team is confident in our ability to help you receive the compensation you deserve for truck accident injuries. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a Cook County personal injury attorney, call us today at 312-551-1100.