Truckers in West Virginia often count the miles until they can reach a rest area or truck stop when they feel tired. A new study from university researchers has identified a higher rate of trucking crashes caused by driver fatigue when rest areas are 20 or more miles away from accident sites.
The researchers looked at commercial vehicle crashes on interstates and parkways in Kentucky from 2005 to 2014. When rest areas or truck stops were between 20 and 40 miles away, fatigue-related accidents were 2.5 times more likely. When truckers had nowhere to rest for over 40 miles, the crash risk jumped by nearly 700 percent.
These findings justified their conclusion that the federal national network for trucks needed to add more areas for truckers to park and rest. Parkways displayed a greater need for more truck stops than interstates. Truck crashes caused by tired drivers also occurred at higher rates during the night. The researchers urged trucking companies to develop schedules that limited night driving and allowed truckers to take adequate rest breaks.
Trucking accidents can produce serious or catastrophic injuries among people in passenger vehicles. When a person gets hurt in a truck crash, ongoing medical treatment and an inability to work could inflict financial hardship. An attorney could help a victim file a claim for damages if negligence like bad truck maintenance or truck driver fatigue played a role in the wreck. The lawyer might uncover violations of federal trucking regulations, like a driver working too many hours, and cite this evidence in a lawsuit. An attorney's ability to prepare court filings and challenge delay tactics from an insurance company might aid a victim burdened with injuries.