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How Can Drowsy Driving Lead to Criminal Charges in Illinois?

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Plainfield, IL traffic violations attorney

All drivers should be alert and focused when operating their vehicles. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are heavy and can cause a lot of damage if they collide or strike pedestrians on the road. To avoid collisions, motorists should not only stay away from alcohol before driving but also make sure they are not drowsy or at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Much like alcohol, sleep deprivation hinders people from performing simple actions. If motorists feel too tired to drive, they should allow one of their passengers to take the wheel. If they are driving alone, they can pull off on the side of the road and sleep for a bit before continuing their travels. Otherwise, fatigued drivers run the risk of causing car accidents with serious injuries, which can also lead to criminal charges in Illinois. 

Dangers of Fatigued Driving 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveyed a group of drivers and found that 37 percent of the group admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. Of that group, 60 percent admitted to dozing off while on the highway while traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour or higher. Drowsy motorists put their lives and those around them in danger because if they fall asleep, they cannot see and therefore have no control whatsoever of their vehicles. Instead of trying to complete their destination and risk hurting others, tired drivers should recognize when they are tired and pull off of the road.

Signs of fatigued driving can include:

  • Yawning more often than usual

  • Rubbing eyes

  • Mind wandering or becoming easily distracted

  • Missing an exit or a turn

  • Head nodding or bobbing

  • Blinking slowly or eyelids feeling heavy

If a driver recognizes these signs and still continues to drive, he or she can be responsible for any collision or accident that occurs as a result of this dangerous driving behavior.

The Reality of Drowsy Driving

Illinois considers drowsy driving as a reckless behavior because it puts innocent lives in danger for no reason. Therefore, those who cause an accident -- even if it is just a single car accident -- will be charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense that comes with a fine and jail time. If others are involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, the offending driver will be responsible for:

  • Compensation for medical bills

  • Compensation for repairs to damaged cars

  • Compensation for the family if someone is killed 

In addition to reckless driving charges, if a drowsy driver injures or kills someone during the accident, he or she could be charged with vehicular assault or reckless homicide.

Contact a Will County Traffic Violations Lawyer

When we are tired, it is natural to want to get to our destination as quickly as possible. However, it is safer to get adequate rest before operating a motor vehicle. If you or someone you know is facing charges related to drowsy driving, a knowledgeable lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help build a solid defense against serious punishments. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorneys, call our office today at 815-666-1285.

 

Source:

https://www.safemotorist.com/Illinois/Driving/drowsy_driving/

 

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