Many truck drivers spend hours upon hours traveling throughout the country for their profession. This contributes to fatigue, which increases the risk of accidents on Illinois roads. A truck driver might be so exhausted that falling asleep at the wheel may occur. A deadly multicar crash might follow when a driver passes out, so they should know not to operate a semi-truck when excessively tired.
The dangers of truck driver fatigue
Fatigued driving proves dangerous because drivers might find their minds drifting from the road. When tiredness impact perceptions and reactions, seeing or avoiding a potential hazard becomes harder, and the longer someone goes without sleep, the more challenging driving safely becomes. Data show going without sleep for more than 24 hours might cause a similar effect on the brain that drunk driving has. In fact, the effects could mimic a .10 blood alcohol concentration.
Federal and state laws mandate truck drivers to take breaks after spending 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel. Drivers and employees who ignore these rules could be liable for injuries inflicted after an accident.
Other causes of driver fatigue
Lack of sleep and driving for too many hours are not the only reasons for excessive tiredness. Working strange hours and swing shifts could wear a driver down, increasing the chances of multi-vehicle accidents. Even someone driving while battling a cold or the flu might become too tired to avoid distractions.
Some assume operating a vehicle while under the influence of a legally prescribed drug isn’t dangerous. Such an assessment could be highly inaccurate. Medication might dull senses and cause fatigue, and driving while under the influence of alcohol may do the same.