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Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Illinois truck driver over drowsy driving

Written by Ankin Law Office

Chicago truck accident lawyer retained

A Chicago family is mourning the loss of their mother following a devastating accident on I-80. CBS Chicago reports that the 64-year-old woman had stopped her car to avoid an accident scene and a large semi-truck failed to stop in time, rear-ending the woman’s vehicle and killing her in the accident. As a result, the woman’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the truck driver as well as the carrier company he works for with the aid of a Chicago truck accident lawyer. The family alleges that video footage of the crash, which was shot inside the truck’s cab, shows that the driver was falling asleep behind the wheel. The lawsuit is still pending.

A common occurrence

The dangers of drowsy driving has been a hot topic in the news lately due to the crash that severely injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. In an accident similar to the one that took the life of the Chicago woman, Morgan’s limo was stopped for construction, but a drowsy trucker failed to stop in time to avoid a serious crash. Morgan has suffered lasting complications from his injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, and doctors are unsure if he will ever be the same.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,921 people were killed and another 88,000 were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2012.  One hundred and fifteen of these fatal accidents occurred in Illinois. A recent study performed by the NHTSA found that in multivehicle truck accidents that occurred in a two-year period, 454 drivers were asleep behind the wheel. In the same study, 4,876 single vehicle truck crashes occurred in connection with driver fatigue.

Prevention is key

In order to ensure that truckers do not add to the growing list of fatalities with drowsy driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued new service hour requirements to which truckers must adhere. New regulations have reduced the maximum workweek for truckers from 82 hours to 70 hours. Those who hit the 70-hour maximum must take a 34-hour resting period prior to beginning a new 70-hour workweek, a time that must include two stretches between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Additionally, drivers are prohibited from driving more than 11 hours each day and must have a 30-minute break once a day.

Those who have lost loved ones in trucking accidents may be able to successfully seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. These matters are extremely complex, so families are encouraged to seek the help of a knowledgeable Illinois wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. With their help, families can heal and rebuild their lives following a terrible loss.

Categories: Auto Accidents