Truck drivers in Kentucky often drive for long hours over dark and monotonous stretches of highway. While operator fatigue may seem to be a natural result of the job, it can also be a cause of severe and even deadly trucking crashes. Fatigued truckers are responsible for massive semi-trucks with substantial size, weight and volume. These big rigs can cause a lot of damage when accidents happen. While trucking is critical to many industries, experts continue to raise concerns that the schedules maintained by the industry may not be sufficiently limited to protect safety.
For example, in North Dakota, the oil industry is very dependent on trucking to support its business. As a result, 67 percent of the truck accidents in the state take place in the regions that are most connected to the industry. Even the construction of bypasses aimed to increase roadway safety by limiting contact between large trucks and other vehicles has been connected to some of these crashes. One such North Dakota bypass was linked to fatal crashes in both 2018 and 2019.
In two of these collisions, one of the large trucks crossed over the roadway's center line, crashing head-on into an oncoming vehicle. Fatigue may be a factor that leads truck drivers to maintain poor control of their vehicles, resulting in weaving in and out of lanes or even jumping the center line.
Truck driver fatigue can lead to severe injuries and fatalities, especially when trucking companies fail to abide by federal regulations limiting driver hours. Individuals who have been injured in trucking crashes can work with legal counsel to pursue compensation for their damages.