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Far from rest areas, fatigued CMV drivers more liable to crash

Back in November, researchers published a study in Accident Analysis & Prevention, and their conclusions should be of interest to commercial motor vehicle drivers in New York. Fatigued driving is a hazard of the trucking industry, and researchers have found that fatigue-related CMV crashes are more likely in areas far from any truck stops, rest areas or weigh stations with rest havens.

Crashes were discovered to be two-and-a-half times more likely in places that are 20 to 40 miles away from rest areas. The prospect of a crash went up seven times in areas more than 40 miles away. Accidents had a high probability of occurring at night, on dry pavement and on parkways rather than interstates.

Researchers focused on car crash data in Kentucky from the years 2005 to 2014. Out of the 7,538 accidents where truckers were to blame, 284 were fatigue-related. Researchers studied only those crashes out of the 284 that took place on parkways or interstates with at least one rest option. The roads were all within the Kentucky Designated National Truck Network.

The results reflect a need for more truck stops. Researchers say this can be met by creating new rest areas or expanding current ones. They also emphasize how companies should accommodate their employees with more breaks and less nighttime driving.

Under truck accident law, those who are injured through a trucker's negligence may file a claim against the trucking company. If successful, they might be covered for their past and future medical bills, lost wages and so on. A wrongful death suit may cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium and more. In either case, trucking companies can be aggressive in denying payment, so a lawyer may help with litigation.

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