Truck driver fatigue can significantly increase the risk of a motor vehicle accident because it can reduce that driver’s reaction time. Furthermore, there is a chance that a tired driver will actually fall asleep while operating his or her vehicle. Research suggests that driving on Illinois roads after staying awake for 24 consecutive hours is similar to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.10.
Tired truck drivers have issues paying attention
It can be difficult for a tired individual to keep track of moving objects or process information. He or she might not notice that another vehicle has come to a sudden stop or that a pedestrian is crossing the street. Furthermore, drivers who are battling fatigue are less likely to check their blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn.
This can be a serious problem because commercial trucks have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles do. Ultimately, there is a greater chance that a commercial driver will miss a car, person or other object in his or her path.
Fatigued drivers are more likely to make mistakes
It isn’t uncommon for tired commercial vehicle operators to run red lights, roll through intersections or make haphazard lane changes. A fatigued motorist might also fail to slow down when exiting a highway or otherwise keep pace with the flow of traffic around their vehicle. Failing to slow down prior to impact could increase the chances that a driver or passenger is hurt or killed in a motor vehicle accident.
If you are hurt in a motor vehicle crash, it may be possible to obtain compensation for medical bills or other damages. An attorney might use witness or police statements as evidence that a driver was fatigued when a collision occurred.