Truck Driver Fatigue Caused by Lack of Rest Stops
According to a new study conducted by the University of Kentucky, the longer distances between rest areas or truck stops increases the frequency of fatigue-related truck collisions.
Using data from collisions caused by truck drivers that occurred between 2005 and 2014, researchers discovered that fatigue-related crashes were nearly 2.5 times higher when the driver traveled an additional 20–to–40 miles before parking. Even worse, the study indicated that drivers were nearly seven times more likely to crash when available parking was over 40 miles away.
Determining Trucker Fatigue
Since semi-truck drivers are typically paid based on miles driven, they are often tempted to travel long distances on little sleep, increasing the risk of accidents. Evidence of a truck driver’s fatigue may include:
- Crossing the median. If a trucker falls asleep while driving, his vehicle will likely drift across a median or center line. Typically when this happens, there aren’t skid marks or other evidence the driver attempted to stop, indicating he was asleep during the collision.
- Excessive work hours. Evidence indicating that a truck driver exceeded his allowable work hours under federally mandated hours of service regulations point to fatigue as the cause of the accident. The driver’s records show when he went on and off duty; the mile marker reached when he went off duty; and total miles driven while he was working. This information can be used to demonstrate the truck driver was too exhausted to operate his vehicle safely.
Truck Collision Consequences
Sleep deprivation slows truck driver reaction times and interferes with decision-making abilities. If you were injured in a collision with a fatigued operator, you may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.