Syracuse, NY- A deadly truck accident in Illinois where a driver was at the wheel for over 35 hours without a proper rest period compelled lawmakers to call for more oversight for truckers and trucking companies.
On January 27th, a truck driver who was hauling a load from Nebraska ran into a highway patrol car and Illinois Tollway worker who were stopped on an Aurora highway assisting a stranded tractor-trailer driver.
The highway worker was killed instantly and the trooper suffered critical injuries.
The driver was charged with driving while fatigued and was accused of falsifying his log book.
The truck driver said he did not see the trooper or the highway worker until another tractor-trailer moved out of his line of sight, by then, he said it was too late to avoid the collision. He also admitted to police that he only had a little over three hours of sleep in the past 35 hours. But the driver did not record his hours correctly in his log book.
After the accident, Sen. Dick Durbin (D. – IL) sent a letter to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calling in the agency to better enforce their hours of service rules for the trucking industry.
“Furthermore, I hope you will look into any other similar incidents and take the necessary steps to ensure that every trucking company takes these federal rules seriously,” Durbin wrote.
Fatigued driving is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in New York and the country as a whole which the FMCSA has been trying to curtail.
Last July, the FMCSA enacted new rules to combat fatigued driving by requiring truck drivers to take longer rest periods in between their working shifts. The new rules limit truck drivers to 11 hours behind the wheel each day—they can work up to 14 hours a day but can only drive 11. Drivers must have at least eight hours in between shifts to assure they don’t experience fatigue while on the road. The rules also require drivers to take two days off in between 70 hour work weeks.
A study conducted by Washington State University on behalf of the FMCSA found that fatigued truck drivers who don’t conform to the hours of service suffer from more lapses in attention, reported sleepiness and had more lane deviations than drivers who adhered to federal hours-hours of service regulations.
If you have been injured by a fatigued truck driver, the truck accident attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Law Firm in Syracuse can help you seek compensation for your injuries or for the untimely death of a loved one resulting from a truck accident.
Syracuse truck accident attorney Jeff D. DeFrancisco will dedicate his time and expertise to your personal injury or wrongful death claim to ensure you get a generous settlement. With Mr. DeFrancisco by your side, you can relax knowing that someone is fighting for your rights as a truck accident victim.