Konicek & Dillon, P.C.

The many risks of driving a large commercial truck while tired

Have you even been sleepy while driving to work in the morning? Have you ever found yourself yawning during the last few hours of a long road trip? Like most people, you probably answered those questions in the affirmative. Almost every driver has experienced exhaustion while behind the wheel at some point.

There is a big difference between being a little tired and being too sleepy to drive safely. Knowing the difference between these two things is important, especially for truck drivers. A fatigued truck driver is a danger to everyone on the road, significantly increasing the chance that an accident will occur. Truckers should be willing and able to recognize the signs that they may not be in a state where they can safely drive a big rig. 

Signs of exhaustion

Drowsy driving is a serious problem, and it can be immensely helpful for truck drivers to be able to recognize signs that they may be drowsy or exhausted. The ability to recognize these risk factors can reduce the number of accidents and make the roads safer for everyone. Some of the most common reasons for commercial truck accidents include the following:

  • Driving too many hours without sleeping or taking breaks, driving over the allotted number of hours
  • Using certain types of drugs, including prescription medication that can cause sleepiness or slowed reactions
  • Getting poor-quality sleep due to sleeping in a berth or sleeping too few hours 

These are only a few of the many reasons why truck accidents related to fatigue can happen. Truckers should get enough sleep, avoid certain types of medications when they are on duty and adhere to the industry's allotted number of consecutive hours behind the wheel.

Recognizing the signs of exhaustion is also important. A trucker may be unable to drive if he or she is having trouble concentrating, yawning excessively or having to blink a lot to stay awake. 

Did a tired driver cause your accident?

If you are the victim of an accident caused by an exhausted trucker, you do not have to walk through the aftermath alone. Truckers and trucking companies work hard to displace blame and limit their own liability for accidents. You can fight for rightful recovery, however, through a personal injury claim. Illinois civil justice laws provide ways for victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents to seek legal recourse for their pain and suffering.

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