According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,237 large truck crashes that resulted in fatalities and 344,000 large truck crashes that led to injuries in 2017. Drivers in North Carolina should be aware of commercial trucks on the road as these large trucks can cause catastrophic accidents.
The Department of Transportation is making moves to loosen the regulations on how much truck drivers can work. For many years, the trucking industry has been fighting for relaxed federal regulations that put limits on the number of hours that commercial truckers can drive before they are required to stop to rest. The regulations currently limit long-haul truck drivers to 11 hours of active driving during each 14-hour on-duty period. Following each on-duty period, drivers must have 10 consecutive hours off before another on-duty period begins. Truckers who plan on driving for more than eight hours are required to take a 30-minute break prior to reaching eight hours.
Of the 4,237 fatal truck crashes in 2017, 57% happened in rural areas of the country and 27% happened on interstates. A significant majority of the fatal truck crashes, 83%, occurred during nighttime driving hours, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The National Transportation Safety Board has said tired drivers are an underreported problem.
Someone who has been injured in a commercial truck accident might be entitled to recovery for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. A personal injury attorney could help a victim by gathering evidence or conducting witness interviews to build a case for trial. Legal counsel might identify liable parties or negotiate a settlement with the applicable insurance company.