Truck drivers may travel thousands of miles during a typical work week, meaning they spend an enormous amount of time on the road. They may battle excessive tiredness, even when following statutes that mandate breaks after driving for 11 consecutive hours on and through Illinois roads. Truck drivers need to be careful when feeling tired, as they could be held responsible for any accidents that result.
Fatigue and collisions
When a tractor-trailer travels at high speed, it requires a lengthy braking distance to come to a complete stop. Drowsiness can undermine perceptions and reactions. If the driver’s concentration suffers from excessive tiredness, they might not be able to stop in time because of applying the brakes late. While mandatory breaks could prevent drivers from working far too many hours in a row, sometimes working split shifts or nights might contribute to tiredness.
Truck drivers might also ingest substances that make them drowsy. Alcohol and illegal drugs could have such an effect, but other substances may cause similar reactions. An over-the-counter cold medicine might outright stay on the packaging to avoid driving after using it. And yes, a cold or the flu could lead to excessive fatigue.
Fatigued drivers and dangers
Fatigue could mimic the behaviors of intoxicated driving. Remaining awake for 24 straight hours could have effects that mimic a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%, well above the legal limit for truck drivers. Of course, someone does not need to remain awake for 24 hours to experience the adverse effects of drowsiness. Even slight tiredness may reduce perceptions and cause accidents that inflict catastrophic injuries.
Truck drivers could face liability claims from victims if they are liable for a crash. Their employers may also face civil suits if they are responsible in any way for their employee’s behavior.