Authored By: Candace Whitman
For most people, rest stops are a place to grab a snack from the vending machine, use the rest room, and take a quick walk. For truck drivers, rest stops are safe havens where they can stop to sleep when they get too drowsy to drive safely. A recent study has shown just how important it really is for interstates and parkways to have ample places for truck drivers to stop and rest.
Research done by the University of Kentucky funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that commercial vehicle at-fault accidents were more likely to occur on roadways where the nearest rest stop, weigh station, or truck stop was located 20 miles or more from the crash site.
USA Today reported in 2017 that many rest stops are shutting their doors due to lack of use and cost of upkeep. This attempt by states to save money could have a negative impact on the safety of truck drivers and the non-commercial vehicles they share the road with.
Our friend and client, Eric T. Chaffin partner at Chaffin Luhana LLP, states in his article for the Legal Examiner that the University of Kentucky study “suggested that state and local highway transportation officials use the study results to increase truck-parking availability on the roadways, particularly on parkways.”
The Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) reported that the University of Kentucky study has indeed “led to efforts to increase the number of parking spaces for trucks on Kentucky’s interstates and parkways.” Hopefully the study will also lead other states to advocate for the same to ensure that all drivers are safe on the roads.
Photo Credit: Yuri Bizgajmer