Trucks that collide with passenger cars often cause serious injury, even death. To prevent and limit injury to the public, the trucking industry is regulated at both federal and state level. Far too often, truckers break these laws; sometimes intentionally, and sometimes unintentionally. When truckers make dangerous decisions, innocent people can get injured. Michael Brennan will aggressively pursue your case, fighting for the compensation you are entitled to.
An Overview of Illinois Truck Accident Law
Truck accidents can be caused driver negligence, faulty equipment and warning systems, or a variety of other factors.Truck drivers can find themselves in accidents for a variety of reasons, including;
Truck driver fatigue. Federal regulations mandate how long truck drivers can drive and how long they must stop to rest. These laws are designed to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. Drivers are required to rest 10 hours after driving a maximum of 11 hours. Truck drivers may not drive more than 14 hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers may not drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. Additional rules (not listed here) apply.
- Negligent driving. Distracted truck drivers are dangerous drivers. Truckers who engage in cell phone conversation or texting, eating while driving, or performing any other activity that distracts the driver from watching the road can result in an accident. House bill 5101 became law in 2013, which prevents Drivers of commercial vehicles from texting or use a handheld phone while driving.
- DUI/DWI. In Illinois and across the country, drivers are required to carry a CDL, or Commercial Drivers License. CDL holders have a lower BAC limit when determining if a driver has had too much to drink. Some company policies prevent truck drivers from drinking any alcoholic beverages while driving; however, this does not always prevent a driver from having a beer or two too many before getting back on the road. A drunk driver is even more dangerous when they are behind the wheel of 80,000 lbs of steel.
- Equipment failure. Trucking companies are required to maintain vehicles in a safe manner. When companies cut corners and fail to maintain their trucks, parts can break and cause accidents. Examples of equipment failure can include brake failure, tire blow-outs, and broken or missing lights and mirrors.
- Overloaded tractor-trailers. Most trucking companies want to fill a truck as full as possible to reduce trips. Federal and state law regulates how much a truck is legally allowed to carry. Overloaded tractor trailers place more stress on the brakes, making it difficult or impossible for a truck to stop in an emergency. An overloaded truck increases the probability of tire blowouts that play a factor in many commercial trucking accidents.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the following are the most common factors of accidents in trucks over 10,000 lbs*;
- Failure to Maintain Lane
- Distracted Driving
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
- Cell phone in Vehicle
- Following Improperly
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signs
- Reckless Driving
- Fatigued Driving
Pursuing a claim against the insurance company and the trucking company itself is a complex matter. Michael Brennan has over 25 years of experience in these type of cases, and is dedicated to fighting aggressively on your behalf. Call for your free consultation on 708-460-9300. Michael is available for consultations in both Orland Park, Illinois, as well as downtown Chicago. You will not pay a fee unless your case is won.
* Drivers of Large Trucks in Fatal Crashes by Driver-Related Factors and Violations Recorded