Back in May we posted about a state trooper who was killed in a Chicago accident after a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel. Since then, it has come out that the truck driver had been working more than what is allowed under federal regulations. These long hours may have contributed to why he fell asleep behind the wheel.
The accident happened on March 28. It is unclear if the officer was pulling his car onto the shoulder of Interstate 294 or if his squad was already on the shoulder when the truck crashed into the car. At this point there are conflicting reports on what really happened.
However, what is known is that the truck driver had fallen asleep while behind the wheel. A federal investigation determined this happened after the truck driver was on duty for more than 18 hours. This is well beyond the mandated limit of 14 hours of driving, which is allowable after 10 hours of rest.
At this point the 26-year-old truck driver has not been criminally charged, but has been fined $2,500 for exceeding the federally mandated driving maximum. The company he was working for at the time, United Van Lines, was also fined $5,500 for having a driver on the road exceed mandated driving limits.
In looking at this case, GPS logs from the truck determined the driver had been on the road for too long. In general, this is the type of information that can lead to a strong personal injury lawsuit.
An attorney with experience handling truck accident cases in the Chicago area can provide more information on truck driver fatigue and what this can mean in terms of compensation for those injured or the families of those killed.
Source: Daily Herald, "Report: Truck driver worked too many hours before deadly crash," Melissa Silverberg, July 7, 2013