How has the law addressed truck driver fatigue in Illinois?
Like you, truck drivers need a steady income so that they may provide for their families. While operating a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle enables truckers to do that, the work is exhausting. Further, the more truckers drive, the better they are paid. This is a powerful motivator to drive for as many hours as possible.
While it is easy to understand why truck drivers want to log as many hours as they can, overdoing it leads to driver fatigue. In turn, this leads to many truck accident injuries and fatalities that could have been prevented. The government has recognized the role that driver fatigue plays in truck accidents. As such, there are regulations in place that limit the amount of time a truck driver can spend on duty.
Below is a brief outline of important service regulations for truck drivers in Illinois and the rest of the country.
- Truckers transporting goods may not drive more than 11 hours after a 10-hour break.
- Operators transporting passengers may not drive more than 10 hours after an eight-hour break.
- When transporting goods, operators must take a 30-minute break during any eight-hour driving period.
- Regardless of their cargo (goods or passengers), no truck operator may drive after spending 60 to 70 hours on duty within a period of seven to eight consecutive days.
Obviously, lawmakers within the federal government care about reducing truck accidents across the nation. However, no 100 percent effective solutions yet exist. Truck accident victims can also play a role in reducing negligent truck accidents by using the law to hold drivers responsible for their actions.
If truckers know that there will be consequences for ignoring the rules and that these consequences will affect their income, they will probably start making better work decisions. Ideally, this means no more driving while fatigued.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Summary of Hours of Service Regulations," accessed April 05, 2018