Researchers have come out with a study showing that fatigued commercial vehicle drivers are more likely to get in accidents the farther they are from rest areas, truck stops and weigh stations with rest havens. Truckers and other work vehicle drivers in West Virginia will want to take note of the findings.
The study considered crash data in Kentucky from 2005 to 2014. Out of the 7,538 incidents where the trucker was at fault, 284 were fatigue-related. Researchers found that these crashes were 2.5 times more likely to occur in areas that were between 20 and 40 miles away from the nearest rest option. When these options were more than 40 miles away, the risk for a crash rose seven times.
Fatigue-related CMV crashes where the drivers are at fault occurred most often at night and on dry pavement. Parkways, which have fewer rest stops on average than interstates, saw the most of such crashes. These roads are part of the National Network of approved truck highways.
Researchers stress the need for more truck parking along parkways and for the expansion of existing rest areas. They also encourage companies to implement CMV driver fatigue alert systems and create schedules that reduce nighttime driving.
When fatigue contributes to a truck accident, the trucking company could be held liable for losses sustained on the other side. A victim may want to speak with a lawyer about filing a claim. Legal counsel could hire experts to gather the police report, the trucker's work log, evidence found at the crash site and whatever else is available before deciding on a fair amount for a settlement.