Illinois State Police Crack Down on Fatigued Truck Drivers

This week, Illinois State Police will be paying even closer attention to fatigued truck drivers, as they are cracking down on truck operators who are spending more time driving than allowed.

Truck crash causes injuries in Georgia.
Truck crash causes injuries in Georgia.

This is the state police’s way of honoring the memory of two state troopers who were killed in the line of duty by sleepy truck drivers. The truck safety check also is intended to make the roads of Illinois safer for all citizens.

Trooper James Sauter from southern Illinois was killed in 2013 in a truck accident in Chicago when his police car was rear ended by a truck driver. The driver had nodded off behind the wheel. He had been driving for more than 14 hours straight, which is against federal law.

The purpose of the truck safety check is to ensure truck drivers are not driving more than 70 hours per week.

Another state trooper was killed a few months before Sauter, as well. Trooper Kyle Deatherage was standing next to a car at a traffic stop on I-55 in Illinois when a trucker struck and killed him. The truck driver had failed to slow down or change lanes.

The Illinois State Police remind truck drivers this week that they should not drive more than their federally allowed weekly hours. They also should move over to the next lane if they see an emergency vehicle on the shoulder of the highway with their lights flashing.

Our View

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules state that commercial truck drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours only after 10 consecutive hours off duty. The rules also state that commercial truck drivers may not drive past the 14th hour after coming on duty, after they have been 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time does not extend this 14 hour period.

FMCSA regulations also state that a truck driver cannot drive after 60 or 70 hours after seven or eight consecutive days on duty.

As tractor trailer crash attorneys in Virginia, we urgently remind all commercial truck drivers to obey the above federal regulations. These truck driving hour restrictions are for their own safety as well as the public’s.

When truck drivers push themselves behind their limits, catastrophe can happen. More than 3,000 deaths occur per year due to truck crashes, and many of them are preventable. Truck drivers can drive more safely by being well rested.

Our personal injury attorneys worked on a tragic truck crash case in Virginia Beach. The truck driver fell asleep and essentially ran over our clients’ car at a stop sign. We settled this truck accident brain injury case involving two grievously injured children for $5.5 million, but their injuries are permanent. 

Our truck crash attorneys want all truckers to obey the rules of the road so that public safety is protected.