It is extremely dangerous for commercial truck drivers to operate their rigs while they are fatigued. The federal government recognizes this danger and has strict regulations limiting the amount of time that commercial truckers can operate their vehicles before mandated rest periods. They are required to keep detailed logbooks recording their drive times and rest times. Inspectors must have regular access to these logs. Unfortunately, truckers and the companies that employ them sometimes fail to follow these rules.
The wife of a deceased Illinois Tollway worker has alleged that this is what caused the fatal truck accident that killed her husband. She has recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a truck driver and the trucking company that employed him.
The accident happened when the victim, a 39-year-old man, was parked along the side of the highway to assist a disabled semi. Even though the highway worker and an Illinois state trooper, who was also stopped at the scene, had their vehicle lights flashing, a second semi crashed into the parked vehicles, killing the worker and critically injuring the state trooper.
The truck driver was charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired or fatigued, making a false record of hours driven, and driving hours in excess of regulations. Prosecutors allege that before the crash, the driver had been working for 37 straight hours.
In her civil suit, the widow claims that the trucking company is responsible for her husband’s death because they allowed their employee to drive without the required rest, failed to inspect his logbooks, and failed to make sure that he complied with federal regulations.
Source: Sun-Times Media Wire, “Wife of toll worker killed in Aurora-area crash files lawsuit,” March 11, 2014