The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recently conducted research into why large truck accidents happen on North Carolina and other roads. Safety defects with the vehicles themselves and long driver hours were two of the main reasons why they occur. In fact, a truck with a significant defect was three times more likely to get into an accident than those without them. Research showed that a violation of any kind could raise the risk of an accident by 50 percent.
Carriers that had high accident rates in the past were also more likely to have a higher accident rate in the future. Researchers deemed a high crash rate to be 100 or more crashes per 1,000 power units in the past 24 months. Carriers that met the criteria were 72 percent more likely to experience future crashes compared to those that didn’t meet the threshold.
The problem of tired driving may be exacerbated by the short haul exemption. This exemption is available to drivers who drive less than 12 hours in a day, don’t make trips overnight and make deliveries within a 100-mile radius. However, they don’t have to record the hours spent making those deliveries. Otherwise, drivers are allowed to operate their trucks for up to 11 hours per day and 77 hours per a seven-day period.
Commercial truck accidents could cause serious injuries for those in passenger vehicles. Pedestrians could also be vulnerable if they are struck by commercial trucks. Those who are injured in such crashes may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills. A person may also be able to recoup lost wages or future earnings in a settlement or at the conclusion of a formal trial.