Truckers in North Carolina should know that researchers from the University of Kentucky have conducted a study about how fatigue-related commercial vehicle crash rates are affected by proximity to rest areas. The results were published in Accident Analysis & Prevention in November of 2017.
Researchers studied crash data in Kentucky spanning the years 2005 to 2014. Out of the 7,538 incidents where truckers were at fault, 284 involved fatigue. By limiting themselves to those accidents that occurred on parkways and interstates with at least one resting area, they found that accidents were more frequent the farther away they were from these havens.
Fatigue-related CMV crashes where the driver was at fault were 2.5 times more likely to occur in places 20 to 40 miles away from a rest area and seven times more likely when one was over 40 miles away. The probability was also higher that crashes would occur at night and on dry pavement. Parkways, which have fewer rest areas than interstates, were more frequently the site of accidents.
Researchers conclude that more rest stops should be made available for truckers, either by creating new ones or expanding existing ones. They also believe trucking companies can improve driver safety with scheduling changes and new technologies.
Commercial truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. If the victim was not at fault, they may want to consult with a lawyer about filing a claim. A lawyer could start by having the crash investigated and, if necessary, reconstructed. Legal counsel can then proceed to the negotiation phase, taking the case to court only if the trucking company refuses to pay out or offers a low settlement.