Commercial truckers in Texas who work long hours probably know that they are at risk for drowsy driving. What they might not know is that the risk for a fatigue-related crash increases the farther away they are from rest areas. This is according to a recent study completed by the University of Kentucky.
Researchers studied crash data in Kentucky from 2005 to 2014, analyzing those interstates and parkways that have at least a single rest area, weigh station with a rest haven or truck stop designated by the National Truck Network. There were 7,538 incidents where the trucker was at fault, and among those, 284 involved fatigue.
When the nearest rest options were 20 to 40 miles away, the risk for fatigue-related CMV crashes went up by 150 percent. When they were over 40 miles away, accidents were seven times more likely to occur. There was a high probability of accidents taking place at night, on dry pavement and on parkways rather than interstates (parkways have fewer rest areas).
Researchers are pushing for more rest stops along federally designated roads, especially parkways, and for the expansion of existing rest areas. They also encourage companies to implement CMV driver fatigue alert systems and consider schedule changes to accommodate more rest.
Drowsy driving is, after all, a form of negligence. Therefore, one who has been injured in a trucking accident may want to obtain a copy of the police report to determine if the other party was negligent. They can then have their case evaluated by a lawyer and file a claim if they have valid grounds. Legal counsel could have third parties assist in the investigation of the crash and take on all negotiations with the trucking company afterward.