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On behalf of Mike Breen Sept. 1, 2017

A trucker’s life is not the only one at risk when he or she takes to the road. Instead, truck drivers risk the lives of millions of motorists who take to America’s roadways each day and drive alongside them.

The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) recently came out and expressed concern over truckers’ varying work schedules. They’re thought to be to blame for their fatigue, one of the primary causes of fatal truck crashes in the United States.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) argues that at least 13 percent of all fatal motor vehicle collisions are caused by truckers. While trucker fatigue is rarely the sole factor that can be blamed for a crash, the NTSB argues that it’s definitely one of the primary causes of them. This is one of the reasons they are constantly working to implement ways to reduce the threat it poses.

A recent study, conducted by the Workplace Health and Safety Center at Cornell University, found that there was a correlation between truck driver schedules and fatigue. In interviewing truckers, the researchers determined that many of them lacked a regular schedule, which impacted their ability to get sleep in at predictable intervals. They found that, as a result, many of these individuals found themselves driving while sleep deprived.

As if sleep deprivation were not enough in itself, these workers were found to be more likely to develop chronic or potentially life-threatening health conditions as well. They were at a higher risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cornell researchers contend that the rise in online ordering and next-day delivery may be behind truckers getting less rest than their bodies need.

The decline in advocacy for truckers’ rights and safety can be attributed to a reduction in trucking industry union membership. While in 1970, at least 60 percent of all truckers were members of a union, today only 17.4 percent are. The Cornell researchers noted that nonunionized companies often require their drivers to engage in unsafe driving practices, such as driving while fatigued, in an effort to cut their costs.

If you’ve been crashed into by a truck driver and suffered serious injuries, then a Bowling Green, Kentucky, truck crash attorney may advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your legal matter. In filing a claim, you may be able to recover medical costs, lost wages and more associated with your injuries.

Source: Aljazeera, “Trucker exhaustion poses grave danger to US motorists, say labor experts,” Ned Resnikoff, accessed Aug. 23, 2017