Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Driver was operating without proper rest in fatal truck accident

Chicago has a long-standing tradition as a center of trade and commerce since its early days as a destination for much of the livestock and grain from the surrounding region. That reputation continues through the present day, proved by the city's financial exchanges and extensive transportation network, among other things.

Many tractor-trailers and commercial trucks traverse the city's roads and highways, either delivering goods or passing through to other locations. Federal and state regulations exist to ensure that truck drivers do not endanger the drivers who share the same streets and freeways. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to ignore those rules, which can lead to catastrophic truck accidents.

In one particularly notable case, one truck driver admitted in federal court last year to doctoring his log books so that he could continue driving on his route. Trucking regulations mandate that drivers must cap their driving time each day and that they must fulfill a prescribed period of rest before returning to the road. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that drivers record this information in a log book, and the agency inspects the books to ensure compliance.

This driver was operating his truck in early 2009 without having completed the necessary rest period when he caused a fatal truck accident during morning expressway traffic. This week a U.S. District Court judge pronounced a sentence of 18 months in prison. In addition, the driver must pay fines and fees and must obtain the approval of the court before driving a commercial vehicle again.

Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, "Truck Driver Sentenced for Falsifying Log Books: Investigators," David Chang, May 7, 2012.

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