With a recent rise in the number of fatal truck crashes, two prominent traffic organizations are lobbying the federal government for mandatory safety measures. If the measures become law, it will affect semi-truck drivers in North Carolina as well as those driving through the state.
Truckers in North Carolina are probably aware of the dangers they face on the road, especially distraction and fatigue. NHTSA reports that there are as many as 100,000 fatigue-related crashes every year, and the National Center for Statistics and Analysis finds that distracted driving is behind 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 15 percent of all injury crashes.
North Carolina residents know that sharing the road with commercial trucks can be dangerous. They may not know that large truck crash fatalities have risen 28 percent from 2009 to 2016 and that some have responded to this trend by calling for specific changes to federal truck safety guidelines. This call is summed up by The Kansas City Star in an article that has even garnered the attention of several members of Congress.
In North Carolina, distractions are becoming the norm for everyone from the driving public to commercial truckers. Distracted driving accidents often result in serious injuries to passengers and damage to vehicles because when drivers are inattentive to the road, they will not have any chance to avert a crash. Trucking companies face injury claims and delays on account of these types of accidents.
Drivers of commercial trucks in North Carolina and the rest of the country should be aware of the Brake Safety Week to be held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. During the week-long event, which begins on September 16, truck inspectors will be increasing their enforcement efforts.
North Carolina drivers may be worried about the injuries that can accompany truck accidents. Collisions with these massive vehicles can cause serious problems for vehicle drivers and passengers. Indeed, up to 97 percent of those killed in crashes involving large trucks and passenger vehicles are the people inside the smaller vehicles. Even when everyone survives a crash, severe injuries could result.
While safety measures and technology have kept truck crash fatality rates relatively low for the past two decades, there is still a lot more to be done. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2016 saw a 3 percent increase in fatal truck crashes. This came down to 233 more deaths and 139 more large trucks involved in accidents. North Carolina motorists want to know more about the common factors in these accidents.
For many drivers in North Carolina, the road can be a dangerous place. In 2016, 37,461 people lost their lives in U.S. roadway accidents. This was 5.6 percent more than the year before. However, a coalition of 675 experts, government agencies and industry participants is working to change this. The Road to Zero Coalition aims to reduce traffic deaths to zero by the year 2050. In a report issued in April, the coalition lays out the steps it recommends to help improve safety on American roads.
Every year in North Carolina and across America, 15 million commercial tractor-trailers carry the vast majority of the nation's goods used around the country. It's no surprise given the volume of trucks on the road that trucking accidents are a regular occurrence. Unfortunately, statistics show the frequency of those accidents is increasing.
For drivers in North Carolina and across the country, truck driver fatigue caused by sleep apnea is both a major public health concern as well as a direct worry for its potential to lead to devastating trucking accidents. Because of the size, weight and mass of large trucks, collisions involving these vehicles can carry especially serious consequences. To prevent these types of collisions, the federal government has put in place a series of regulations that attempt to detect those at risk for drowsy driving.