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Study examines truck drivers and fatigue-related crashes

Truck drivers in Florida who are farther from weigh stations, rest areas and truck stops may be more likely to crash. This was among the results of a study done by the University of Kentucky that examined accident data in that state between 2005 and 2014. The study appeared online in November.

In the analysis, researchers identified 7,538 accidents that were the fault of the commercial truck driver and further identified 284 that had fatigue as a factor. Researchers found that more than 40 miles from a rest option, crashes in which the driver was at fault and fatigue was a factor were seven times more likely to happen. At 20 to 40 miles away, there was more than double the likelihood. Researchers also identified nighttime driving as a factor in fatigue-related crashes. Parkways tended to have both fewer rest options and a higher rate of accidents for commercial truck drivers suffering from fatigue.

Researchers identified several potential solutions to these dangers. First, they called for more rest options on parkways in particular. Next, they called for employer policies to be reviewed and for broader use of alert systems for driver fatigue. Researchers also said that driving schedules that cut down on nighttime driving and gave drivers enough break time might also help cut back on fatigue-related accidents.

These accidents caused by commercial truck drivers may lead to serious injuries for others on the road. The size of trucks relative to passenger vehicles means these accidents may be particularly severe, and injured people might even suffer permanent disabilities. Victims might want to meet with an attorney and discuss their options for seeking compensation for their losses.

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