Fatigued Truck Drivers Can Cause Serious Accidents
Many jobs across the country require their workers to perform on tight deadlines. Truck drivers, especially, have their own deadlines for delivering goods to a destination. This is why sometimes drivers travel for too long and can become drowsy while still behind the wheel. Drowsy driving may be considered a negligent act by the truck operator because it can lead to serious accidents that often involve other people on the road.
The Reality of Drowsy Driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2013, drowsy driving accounted for about 72,000 crashes, 40,000 injuries, and 800 deaths. Truck drivers were included in the list of most likely to fall asleep at the wheel due to long shifts.
Truck drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours in one day so long as they had at least 10 hours of non-driving time before the shift began, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If drivers operate their vehicle for longer periods of time or just feel tired, but continue to drive, their senses and reaction time become impaired. Thus, they will be unable to react quick enough if they start to veer off the road or come into close contact with other drivers.
Indications of drowsy driving to watch include:
- Yawning more often than usual;
- Eyes coming in and out of focus;
- Wandering thoughts;
- Missing an exit on the journey;
- Forgetting how long you have been driving;
- Drifting out of one lane; and
- Failure to obey traffic rules.
While Illinois does not have a specific law that will punish drivers from drowsy driving, if a truck driver causes an accident while tired, they can be could held liable for any injuries sustained in the crash.
How to Avoid Truck Accidents
Truck drivers may decide to drive for longer periods of time because they want to make it to their destination in a timely fashion. However, it is not worth the possibility of causing an accident due to drowsy driving. Depending upon the nature of the accidents they cause, truck drivers can at the very least be charged with an at-fault traffic violation and be responsible for paying compensation for medical expenses and damage repair to the victim. At the most severe, truck drivers could face vehicular homicide charges if the victim was killed as a result of the accident.
To ensure these kind of charges do not happen, truck drivers should monitor themselves for drowsy driving and:
- Get off the road and take a nap;
- Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m.;
- Keep the temperature in the truck cold;
- Stop every 100 miles to get out of the truck and walk around; and
- If possible, share the journey with a partner by driving in shifts.
Contact an Orland Park, IL Truck Driving Accident Attorney
If you spend a great deal of time on the road, perhaps as a truck driver yourself, you know how dangerous a drowsy driver can be. To learn more about collecting compensation for injuries you have sustained in a crash caused by a fatigued truck drivers, contact an experienced DuPage County truck accident lawyer. Call 708-226-9000 for a free consultation at Schwartz Injury Law today.