Blog
14496 John Humphrey Drive, Suite 100, Orland Park, IL 60462
Search
Schwartz Injury Law

CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Orland Park Office708-226-9000

Joliet Office815-723-7300

Glen Ellyn Office630-273-7330

Elmhurst Office630-415-0500

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Orland Park truck accident injury lawyer

Orland Park truck accident lawyersOne of the most common causes of truck accidents in the U.S. is fatigued truck drivers. Truckers are often expected to drive hundreds of miles a day and deal with a wildly inconsistent sleep schedule. Chronic sleep deprivation can have significant effects on a person’s ability to drive safely. Sleepiness can cause reduced reaction time, decreased awareness, and difficulty paying attention. It is estimated that being fatigued makes you three times more likely to be involved in a car accident. In fact, The National Safety Council states that driving 20 hours without sleeping is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent. However, increased demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the FMCSA to modify the rules regulating truck driver hours of service.

Updates to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service rules regulate how long commercial truck drivers may drive without taking a break to rest. Recent updates to these regulations include:

  • The short-haul exception has been increased from 100 to 150 miles and drivers’ maximum on‑duty period has been increased to 14 hours.
  • The 14-hour on-duty constraint has been extended by up to two hours in situations involving adverse driving conditions such as unusual traffic conditions, road problems, or heavy fog or snow.
  • The required 30-minute rest break after eight hours of driving may now be satisfied by on-duty/non-driving rest periods.
  • The mandatory 10-hour off-duty rest breaks may now be satisfied by rest periods of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and 2 consecutive hours in or out of the sleeper berth.

Advocacy Groups File Lawsuit Against FMCSA and Department of Transportation

Some people are concerned that the new hours of service rules may increase the prevalence of accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers. Several safety advocacy groups including Parents Against Tired Truckers and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways filed a lawsuit in which they requested reconsideration of the new hours of service rules. In a press release, representatives for the groups stated that the modifications will weaken hours of service regulations and increase the threat of fatigued drivers.

...

Orland Park personal injury lawyerIf you have ever watched a news story about an airplane accident, you may have heard experts talking about the plane’s flight recorder or “black box.” Many commercial trucks are also equipped with a recording device which is often referred to as a black box. Technically called an event data recorder (EDR), this device can be an extremely valuable source of evidence in a truck accident injury case. Most personal injury claims hinge upon the question of fault and proving that the negligent actions of the truck driver, trucking company, or other party caused your truck accident is often the biggest obstacle in successfully obtaining compensation for injuries.

How Do EDRs Work?  

Most event data recorders are capable of recording vehicle and occupant information immediately before, during, and after a collision. Depending on the type of EDR installed, the device may record data about the vehicle’s engine performance, vehicle speed, whether or not the brakes were applied, steering performance, airbag deployment, seat belt usage, electronic stability control, and the force of the impact. Commercial trucking companies are not required to install EDRs in their trucks; however, more and more trucking companies are voluntarily installing these black boxes. After a truck accident, a data-retrieval technician may be able to extract data from the EDR. Because many of these devices do not permanently retain data, it is important to retrieve EDR information as soon as possible after an accident.

Proving Liability for a Truck Accident

The information contained in an EDR may be combined with other types of evidence and used to establish exactly what happened during an accident. Evidence from dash camera footage, security camera footage, the truck driver’s hours of service logs, the driver’s driving history, and the truck maintenance records may also shed light on how and why a truck accident occurred. Data from the truck driver’s personal cell phone may reveal whether or not distracted driving was a contributing factor in the accident. However, gaining access to this information is not easy. Trucking companies are usually very hesitant to release EDR data and other information and may even destroy data in an attempt to evade responsibility for an accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help ensure that this valuable evidence is preserved.

...
To Top