Earlier today, our Chicago semi truck accident attorneys read a report on Whig.com detailing a single-vehicle collision involving a semi truck on Illinois Interstate 72. Illinois State Police report that a semi truck was traveling westbound on the interstate when the truck’s driver fell asleep behind the wheel and drove his vehicle off the road. Upon exiting the interstate, the commercial vehicle struck a guardrail and proceeded to destroy over 200 feet of guardrail before colliding into a concrete bridge. The driver of the semi truck received a ticket from Illinois police for improper lane usage and operating a commercial vehicle while fatigued.
Driver fatigue has continued to be one of the leading causes of large commercial vehicle accidents nationwide. Not only does driver fatigue include a semi truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound vehicle, it also slows driver reaction time, as well as, effects judgment and vision. According to research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 750 fatalities and over 20,000 injuries result each year from fatigued commercial vehicle drivers. Unfortunately, driver fatigue not only plagues drivers of large commercial vehicle, but drivers of passenger vehicles as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are more than 55,000 driver fatigued-related accidents that occur nationwide each year. Although driver fatigue can affect any and all types of drivers, SmartMotorist.com reports that there are five population groups that are at the highest risk based on reports of motor vehicle crashes and self-reports of sleep behavior and driving performance.
– Young People: individuals ages 16-29 with irregular sleep patterns and those who drive long distances late at night – Shift Workers: individuals whose sleep schedule is disrupted by working at night or long/irregular hours – Sleep Disorder Victims: individuals with untreated sleep apnea or narcolepsy – Individuals taking Medications: many medications induce drowsiness
– Drunk Drivers: operated intoxicated additionally aides to drowsiness
In order to prevent the number of devastating injuries and fatalities that result each year from Illinois semi truck accidents, our Illinois truck accident lawyers recommend that drivers of all types of motor vehicles: get sufficient sleep, never driver intoxicated, pull over when drowsy and limit night driving. Drivers who operate fatigue not only put themselves and surrounding vehicles in danger, they may be subjected to harsh fines and other penalties associated with this dangerous offense. If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck collision, please contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer to see what legal rights may be available to you.