Fatigued driving accidents pose a significant threat on the roads, endangering the lives of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. Operating a vehicle while fatigued can impair one’s ability to concentrate, react quickly, and make sound decisions. The consequences can be devastating, often resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.
How Does Fatigue Affect a Driver’s Ability to Safely Operate?
When a person is fatigued, whether due to sleep deprivation, long working hours, or an untreated sleep disorder, their cognitive functions become impaired. Fatigue slows down reaction times, decreases alertness, and impairs judgment, making it difficult to respond promptly to changing road conditions or unexpected situations. In fact, studies have shown that driving after being awake for 18 hours is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent, which is nearing the legal limit in Illinois.
Consequences of Drowsy Driving
The consequences of fatigued driving accidents can be severe. Drowsy drivers can fall asleep at the wheel, leading to catastrophic collisions. Even a momentary lapse of attention can cause a driver to veer into another lane, colliding with oncoming traffic, or rear-end another vehicle. Studies have shown that a person driving 55 mph who takes their attention off the road for even just five seconds will travel the length of an entire football field during those moments. Imagine the devastation that can occur during those five seconds of a drowsy driver whose eyes are shut. The high-speed nature of these accidents often results in more severe injuries compared to other types of collisions.
Truck Drivers and Fatigued Driving
Fatigued driving accidents are not limited to just individual drivers. Commercial truck drivers are particularly vulnerable to fatigue due to the long hours they spend on the road. The federal government has implemented hours of service regulations that limit driving time and require rest periods, however, there are still far too many incidents of non-compliance or drivers pushing themselves beyond safe limits, posing a risk to everyone on the road.
Vehicle Safety Features
Technological advancements can aid in preventing fatigued driving accidents. Smart systems, such as lane departure warnings and drowsiness detection systems, can alert drivers when they exhibit signs of fatigue or veer out of their lane. These technologies act as valuable safety nets, supplementing the driver’s own vigilance.
Contact a Will County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a fatigued driver, contact a Joliet, IL car accident attorney to find out what your legal options may be. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a free case evaluation.