The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that thousands of truck accidents occur every year. One of the major contributing factors to this disastrous occurrence is driver’s fatigue. Here’s how a tired truck driver poses a significant threat on the road.
Truck driver fatigue
Driving is an activity that requires your full attention. Even a second of distraction or drowsiness can cause fatal motor vehicle accidents. Given that truckers operate bulky vehicles, sometimes with highly flammable materials, an accident can be very devastating.
Illinois trucking laws
Illinois has set some rules and regulations that are meant to keep road users safe on the road. For instance, for someone to operate a commercial truck, they must be 21 years or older, and they have to rest for 10 consecutive hours before they get on the road. Also, they need to make sure that all parts of their vehicle are in good working condition to prevent truck accidents.
Dangers of truck driver fatigue
Even though the law requires truck drivers to spend 10 hours off-duty, they can operate for up to 11 hours each day. This is even longer than a regular nine-to-five job and provides few opportunities to get up and stretch or take a nap. A fatal accident can occur if a truck driver dozes off even for a second when behind the wheel.
The reason why fatigue causes an accident is that it reduces your ability to concentrate on the road, it slows down your reaction time, and it slows down your critical thinking potential. Also, tired people experience a phenomenon known as “microsleep.” This is where they experience short episodes of sleep without even realizing it.
How to know a truck driver is fatigued
Truck driver fatigue could be the sole or contributing cause of an accident on the road. Though it can be hard to determine, there are some telltale signs that you can spot rather easily. For example, if the driver seems out of control, like weaving or speeding, it is a good indicator.
Illinois is an at-fault state. This means that if someone is responsible for an accident, they will have to pay for vehicle damage, injuries and other losses of the victim. You should be vigilant to spot and gather evidence after an accident.