Researchers from the University of North Carolina, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have concluded that many serious truck accidents are caused by fatigue and vehicle defects. The researchers studied nearly 200 truck accidents that took place in North Carolina between 2010 and 2012, and they then compared the trucks involved with similar commercial vehicles that had not crashed.
Truck drivers in North Carolina and across the United States may see a new sleep apnea testing rule in their industry. Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration scrapped a rule that would give medical examiners a specific set of criteria for sleep apnea referrals. However, Congressional Democrats have since filed bills that would force FMCSA to implement the rule.
Some North Carolina motorists may be reluctant to drive next to 18-wheelers and other large trucks. However, there are certain steps they can take to remain safe when sharing the road with these vehicles.
Motorists in North Carolina who are apprehensive about driving near large commercial trucks may be interested to know that the health of the truck driver is a factor in road safety. In fact, according to a study conducted by a university, commercial truck drivers who have at least three medical conditions have two to four times the risk of getting in an accident than healthier drivers.
At the recent North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Bendix introduced several new safety products and updates for commercial trucks. Their Intellipark system in particular can prevent incidents commonly known as rollaways, which occur when drivers leave their trucks without engaging the air brakes. This electronic parking brake may benefit drivers and their companies in North Carolina.
On Sept. 20, it was reported by the North Carolina Highway Patrol that four people suffered injuries after a concrete truck overturned onto a van. It appeared that the concrete truck was attempting to make a right turn but was traveling too fast.
Wheel spikes, often seen on large tractor trailers on North Carolina roadways, create a negative impression of the person behind the steering wheel. Whether it is true or not, they communicate to some other motorists that the operator approaches driving aggressively. While many wheel spikes are produced from plastic, other types are manufactured out of metal or aluminum. Wheel spikes increase the likelihood of a vehicle accident if they make contact with another vehicle, a bike, or a pedestrian.
Trucking accidents are increasing in North Carolina and across the United States. Because semi trucks are such powerful vehicles with massive strength, weight and large amounts of cargo, commercial truck accidents can lead to serious injuries for occupants of other vehicles.
North Carolina highways may have gotten a bit more hazardous in light of a notice that was issued on Aug. 4 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency, which is part of the Department of Transportation, has stated that it was withdrawing a proposed rule that would have standardized screening procedures and protocols for truck drivers who were suspected of having sleep apnea.
Road users in North Carolina and around the country may be alarmed to learn that nearly 2,000 large commercial trucks were ordered out of service after the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted an unannounced safety crackdown on May 3. The nonprofit association's inspectors checked the braking systems and other safety equipment of more than 9,000 semi-tractor trailers in 10 Canadian provinces and 33 U.S. states during the one-day safety blitz according to a press release.