Commercial truck accidents can be a frequent occurrence in North Carolina. Unfortunately, they happen to be one of the most devastating types of accidents. Approximately 97 percent of truck accident fatalities are the occupants of passenger vehicles. If they do survive, the occupants often come away with serious, long-term injuries. Even cuts and lacerations can leave scars and some form of psychological problem.
Sharing road space with big rigs is a safety risk that Arizona motorists take almost every day. The size and weight difference between fully loaded tractor-trailers and passenger cars creates extreme danger when collisions happen. While most truckers are highly trained and skilled, they are only human, and the slightest mistake can have deadly consequences. Considering the volume of freight transported by trucks, the large number of injury and death claims against negligent trucking companies is not surprising.
The number of truck accidents in North Carolina and around the country has risen quite a bit, and a comprehensive study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that truck driver errors and recklessness are largely to blame when lives are lost. The federal safety agencies studied 120,000 fatal truck accidents that took place over a 33-month period, and the truck driver was determined to have been at fault more than two-thirds of the time when multiple vehicles were involved.
Commercial truck drivers in North Carolina may be interested in knowing that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association submitted a motion to the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to have its argument against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reheard. The organization is asserting that the federal agency modified sleep apnea screening rules in an illegal manner.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked that changes be made to current hours of service regulations. It wants to do away with a 30-minute rest break as well to allow drivers to pause their 14-hour service clock. The association believes that the rules as currently written lack flexibility and don't take into account individual driver abilities or limitations. As of now, drivers in North Carolina and elsewhere must stop for 30 minutes within the first eight hours of their shift.
Commercial truck accidents involving overloads are shown by statistics year after year to be some of the most prevalent truck hazards on the road in North Carolina and all around the country. An unbalanced payload, especially when an unqualified or inattentive truck driver is at the wheel, can create a loss of control that could end in serious injuries or death in a semi-truck accident. Even if the truck isn't overloaded, an unbalanced load due to negligence by a truck company may cause a fatal 18-wheeler accident.
Many North Carolina motorists may feel a little uneasy when driving next to a large truck. However, a new study finds that improved safety technologies have the potential to prevent approximately 63,000 truck collisions each year, making U.S. roads safer for everyone.
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.