Readers have probably noticed that 18-wheelers sit quite a bit higher off the road than other motor vehicles. The gap between the bottom of the trailer and the road is often high enough that a car could fit into it in an auto accident. Drivers and passengers can become trapped in their vehicles during a wreck, possibly increasing their chances of serious injury.
Many intersections have a "no U-turns" sign posted. That is because trying to make a U-turn there could cause a dangerous car accident, as readers already know. It appears that a tractor-trailer driver making an illegal U-turn is responsible for a collision that killed the wife of a North Carolina native and two of their children earlier in August.
Trucking is a difficult job that often requires long hours and days spent away from family. There is frequently pressure to make deliveries as fast as possible so it is not unusual for drivers to take few rest breaks, if any. All too often, the result is a sleep-deprived person operating a huge 18 wheeler around other North Carolina motorists. This situation often leads to deadly truck accidents.
Commercial truck accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities. Investigations often find that many truck accidents are caused by unsafe commercial vehicles or unsafe truck drivers operating the vehicle. To address the dangers posed by commercial trucks, legislators have proposed a bill that would limit the size and weight of commercial trucks.
A new study has found that over 40 percent of truck drivers in Australia have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person stops breathing throughout the night. Sleep apnea can lead to sleepiness and fatigue during the day due to the nightly disturbance in sleep.
Commercial trucks often rely on GPS devices while driving, especially when they are travelling across the country. While GPS devices can be very helpful, an increasing number of commercial trucks have hit bridges while diving underneath due to their GPS not being updated or not reading the map correctly.
Commercial trucking companies need to improve their safety standards to protect the public from rear-end collisions, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported. The IIHS reported that commercial trucking companies are still building unsafe tractor trailers that can cause fatalities in rear-end accidents with commercial trucks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently ordered a commercial truck driver to stop driving and said the driver posed an "imminent hazard" on the road. The FMCSA does not usually declare specific drivers as dangerous but in this case, the driver's negligent actions caused a fatal accident and the FMCSA wanted to try and prevent future truck accidents from happening again.
Commercial trucks are constantly seen on North Carolina roads. When unsafe trucks are cited for safety violations, the Department of Transportation revokes their driving privileges. Safety inspections and citations are meant to protect the public from unsafe vehicles but many commercial trucking companies have found a way to continue driving on North Carolina roads.
Recently the U.S. Senate approved a highway transportation bill, which among other things, mandates the use of electronic onboard recorders (EOBR) on commercial trucks. An EOBR is a device that records information about the operation of commercial trucks on roads across the country, including those here in North Carolina. The hope is that the device will help enforce restrictions on hours of service for drivers and employers, and in doing so, prevent trucking accidents and save lives.