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Lake County truck accident attorney driver fatigueEvery year, thousands of Americans are severely or fatally injured in motor vehicle collisions involving commercial trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,213 commercial trucks were involved in fatal collisions throughout 2016 alone. This staggering number of commercial trucking fatalities marked a 3% increase in fatal accidents in comparison to the previous year. The rise in fatalities is not limited to one year; over the past seven years, fatal commercial trucking accidents have risen by an incredible 28%. 

With the steady rise in deadly collisions, many believe that commercial trucking companies should do more to determine what is causing these accidents and take steps to prevent them. In a large number of fatal accidents, the collision is caused by truck driver fatigue, which can be the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver or the trucking company.

The Concern of Driver Fatigue 

Throughout the United States, drowsy driving has become a national crisis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 40,000 Americans are injured in collisions caused by fatigued drivers every single year. These collisions resulted in a shocking 800 deaths in 2015 alone. With long driving shifts and cargo that needs to be delivered in a timely fashion, it should come as no surprise that commercial truck drivers are some of the most common culprits of drowsy driving. 

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Chicago commercial trucking accident attorneyThroughout 2016 alone, a staggering 4,564 Americans lost their lives in car accidents involving large commercial trucks or buses. Despite the fact that all commercial truck drivers must go through extensive training programs to earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL), trucking companies consistently make poor hiring decisions, fail to adequately train their drivers, and routinely send out trucking fleets with improper maintenance. If a member of your family is injured in a truck accident, it is possible that the injuries were caused by the unsafe operation of the vehicle or the negligence of the truck company. 

Company Negligence and Reckless Truck Driving 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a large percentage of commercial trucking accidents are a result of reckless driving. Nearly 20% of all collisions caused by commercial trucks were due to the truck driver traveling at excessive speeds. Additionally, 16% of commercial truck collisions occurred because the truck driver was using their cell phone while operating their vehicle. In many of these cases, the reckless driving was a byproduct of improper driver training. 

While many commercial truck collisions are the direct fault of the driver, these collisions may have been avoided with increased employee vetting and adequate training programs. Trucking companies are responsible for the training and treatment of their employees, and failing to properly train employees or treating employees unfairly is a direct form of company negligence. The most common forms of negligence include forcing drivers to drive more than the federally legal limit of 14 consecutive driving hours, insufficiently training drivers, and poor vehicle maintenance. 

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