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What happens when drowsy truckers get on the road?

If you navigate Illinois roadways on a daily basis, you may be familiar with driving alongside tractor trailers. What you may not know is just how dangerous driving next to tractor trailers can be, especially when the truck driver manning the enormous vehicle has spent more than 14 hours behind the wheel. Drowsy truckers are a major problem for people in Illinois and across the United States. They are responsible for causing thousands of truck accidents, injuring and killing many people along the way.

In an attempt to reduce the number of people who are injured and killed in large truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposed Hours of Service regulations on U.S. truckers. Under these regulations, truckers are prohibited from driving more than 11 hours a day and must take a 10-hour break after this time behind the wheel. Every eight hours, truckers must take a 30-minute break. Furthermore, truckers are only able to drive 60 hours every six days before taking 34 consecutive hours off.

Despite the regulations, however, some truckers remain behind the wheel well past 11 hours. Many are under pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines and are forced to drive day and night to avoid arriving late. Furthermore, more miles equate to more money on their paychecks. There is also a national shortage of truck drivers. With less truckers to deliver crucial goods across the country, truck drivers are under pressure to make as many trips as possible. Once they are done, they are able to get home to their families sooner.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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