Accidents involving big rigs in Georgia and the rest of the country may be more likely to happen if the truck drivers are far from a rest option. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky found that accidents were less likely to happen nearer truck stops, weigh stations with a place to rest or rest areas.
Researchers looked at thousands of crashes between 2005 and 2014 and selected the ones in which commercial truck drivers were at fault and fatigue was a factor. They found that on parkways and interstates in Kentucky that had at least one rest option, truck drivers were more than twice as likely to cause a crash related to fatigue if that rest option was 20 to 40 miles away. When the rest option was more than 40 miles away, truck drivers were almost seven times more likely to cause an accident.
According to researchers, the study points to a need for increased areas for truck drivers to rest. This could include expanding some rest areas as well as adding additional stops. Researchers also identified ways that employers could reduce the likelihood of crashes. They named the use of driver fatigue alert systems and scheduling that gives drivers enough break time as two needed changes.
When trucking accidents lead to injuries for other drivers and passengers, both the truck driver and the trucking company could be held responsible. The injured person may be due compensation to cover costs such as medical expenses and lost wages. For a successful lawsuit, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the accident was caused by negligence.