The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has stated that the most likely cause of a fatal truck crash in Illinois in 2014 was because of the delayed response of a truck driver to stopped vehicles in front of him because he was tired from too much driving.
The NTSB concluded that the truck driver had slept less than 5 hours in the 38 hours before the wreck, and had falsified his log book.
The crash killed an IL toll worker and seriously injured two other people.
The NTSB further stated that the failure of a high risk motor carrier to stick to federal hours of service regulations contributed to the fatal truck crash. Also, the board stated that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had poor safety oversight in the incident.
The NTSB has made several truck safety recommendations to FMCSA:
- Start a new notification program that will send a letter to any trucking company with Behavior and Analysis and Safety Improvement Category scores that are high risk, making it mandatory.
- Determine better ways to share data that would encourage unsafe drivers to take immediate safety actions.
- Suspend operations of any motor carrier that have five or more intervention alerts.
Our Virginia truck accident attorneys are saddened that yet another fatigued truck driver has led to a fatal accident. Clearly, there are several parties to blame for this avoidable truck crash, but it is essential that the truck driver and the motor carrier make certain that they are only driving trucks according to federal regulations governing hours of service.
Truckers can only drive 10 hours consecutively and a 30 minute break is mandatory every seven hours. The new laws also mandate that truckers take a 34 hour break after they reach their limit for the week.
The Virginia CDL manual is very specific on this point: It is essential that all truck drivers in the US get enough rest so that they are alert behind the wheel. And, all drivers must rest in their off duty times as required by federal law.
Anyone who is injured by a truck driver who was tired behind the wheel should certainly speak to a truck accident lawyer in their state to see if they have a civil lawsuit case.