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Waukegan truck accident lawyersAnyone who has driven a semi-truck for a living can tell you that it is not an easy job. Truck drivers are expected to drive extremely long distances and endure erratic sleep schedules. However, this is no excuse to drive unsafely. Fatigued truck drivers can make careless driving errors or even fall asleep at the wheel putting other motorists in life-threatening danger. If you were injured in an accident caused by a fatigued or otherwise negligent truck driver, you could be eligible for compensation.

Recent Study Highlights the Danger Fatigued Truck Drivers Pose

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted an extensive study regarding truck accidents. According to their research, approximately 13 percent of serious traffic accidents involving large trucks are caused by a fatigued driver. When drivers are too sleepy, they can drift into other lanes without knowing it or even crash into other vehicles. Considering many truck drivers are operating vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a truck accident can cause severe damage. Other causes of serious truck accidents include equipment failure, driver error, driver drug and medication use, and distracted driving.

Rules Regarding Truck Driver Rest

Fatigued and overworked truck drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road around them. Because of this risk, state and federal regulations dictate how often truck drivers must stop to rest as well as how many hours they can drive in a certain time period.

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Posted on in Fatigued Driver

Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

When most of us think of reckless driving habits, including those that often cause car accidents, we envision speeding drivers or motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. The truth is, reckless and dangerous driving come in many forms, and one of the most common is drowsy driving. With early-morning commutes, late-night drives home, and lengthy trips, drivers commonly fall asleep at the wheel. 

Fatigued Driving Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,100 Americans were injured in collisions involving a drowsy driver in 2017. Of those injured, 795 people were killed. Fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous for a number of reasons. While it impacts reaction time and general awareness, the danger is obviously magnified if the driver actually falls asleep at the wheel, even for a moment.

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Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois personal injury lawyer,The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drivers who are drowsy behind the wheel. Driver fatigue is a major problem in the state of Illinois and all across the nation, responsible for 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries in the year 2013 alone, and those numbers are likely grossly underestimated.

Root Causes of Driver Fatigue

Everyone is at risk for experiencing driver fatigue when they are overly tired or intoxicated, although statistics suggest that commercial drivers are particularly at risk for operating a vehicle while drowsy. Tow truck, tractor trailer, and bus drivers of all kinds are especially vulnerable, as long and irregular hours tend to wear on the body’s natural sleep rhythms, endangering the ability to remain alert and safe behind the wheel. Other root causes for drowsy driving include a general lack of sleep, working night shifts or excessively long hours, using medications that cause drowsiness, and untreated sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car crash lawyer, dangerous driving, sleepy driving, Driver fatigue is a serious issue that can result in tragic accidents. The risk of driver fatigue is, of course, greater for drivers who are covering long distances or driving through the night. And this, of course, means that the risk of truck drivers experiencing severe driver fatigue that can result in a fatal accident is higher than with average drivers who are not expected to chart long distances in short time periods, often requiring overnight driving. The consequences for such negligence are strict. According to the Chicago Tribune, trucker who fell asleep behind the wheel, subsequently causing an accident near Aurora that killed a tollway worker and severely injured a state trooper was sentenced to three years in prison in mid-April.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adult American drivers — a staggering 168 million people — admit they have driven a vehicle when they were perhaps too drowsy to have done so. More than one-third of people admit to having had fallen asleep at the wheel while driving. Approximately 11 million drivers — four percent of adult drivers — admit to having had an accident because they were too tired to have been driving.

National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration statistics, as reported by the National Sleep Foundation, reveal that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue. These cost up to $12.5 billion in monetary losses, and an estimated 1,550 deaths every year. Unfortunately, there is no way to verify these statistics, as there is no objective tool for measuring a driver’s drowsiness, such as a breathalyzer that is used to measure intoxication behind the wheel. Yet statistics show that adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most likely to drive fatigued out of all driving age groups. Men are more likely than women to drive drowsy, and almost twice as likely to have a crash because of fatigued driving.

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