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Trucker, trucking company cited in lawsuit after Illinois crash

Operators of large trucks and other commercial vehicles are required to comply with more rules and regulations than other motorists. This is because they are supposed to be in control of enormous, heavy and powerful vehicles that can be difficult to operate. Truckers are required to have additional licensing and comply with state and federal trucking laws. If they fail to do these things, they can cause a catastrophic truck accident.

One of the most crucial requirements that truck drivers and their employers are supposed to observe is the length of time a driver can be behind the wheel. Driving for several hours at a time, often through rural areas and on two-lane highways, can make a driver sleepy and fatigued which is why there are strict Hours of Service rules in effect for truckers. However, not everyone complies with these guidelines. Recently, for example, a drowsy trucker caused a devastating crash in Illinois and has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Reports indicate that the trucker had been on the road for too many consecutive hours and was seriously impaired by fatigue when he crashed into three vehicles stopped on the side of I-88. An Illinois state trooper was seriously injured in the accident and a tollway employee was killed.

After an investigation, it was determined that the trucker was drowsy at the time of the accident and had falsified his logbook records, which are intended to track a driver's active and resting periods. Because he was so exhausted after being on the road for a whopping 37 hours, he may have dozed off while driving and failed to see the stopped vehicles or the emergency lights flashing on the scene. 

The trucker and his employer have both been named in a lawsuit filed by the toll worker's widow which cites negligence on the part of both parties. Of course there is no amount of money that can undo such a devastating event, but financial compensation can help victims of truck accidents and their families recover from an accident and cover the costs associated with the damages. It can also serve as a way to further penalize a negligent party. 

Source: WLS, "Wife of tollway worker killed in crash files lawsuit," March 10, 2014

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