The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking into way to curb fatigue, speeding and impairment among commercial truckers.
As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mecklenburg County was the deadliest of all North Carolina counties in 2013 when it comes to large truck accidents.
That year alone, 138 lives were lost across the state in these crashes. In Mecklenburg County alone, out of a total 67 vehicular fatalities 10 were attributed to trucking collisions. In the previous year, 13 out of 74 total automotive fatalities in the county resulted from accidents involving large commercial trucks and in 2011, there were another 11 truck fatalities out of 68 total accident deaths.
How can these deaths be reduced?
It is well known that speed, fatigue and impairment are problems that impact some truck accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency tasked with finding ways to address each of these issues.
According to Business Insurance, speed may be a factor in as many as 18 percent of truck wrecks. The National Transportation Safety Board notes that it was a factor in the crash that killed a comedian in early 2015. The danger of speeding among truckers has led to the investigation of putting speed-monitoring devices in commercial vehicles.
The accident that killed the comedian was also influenced by fatigue on the part of the truck driver. The driver chose to not take a break after driving 800 miles despite having more than enough time in which to meet the stated deadline for his deliver.
Supply Chain Digest explains that a 2013 rule changing the break requirements for drivers was put on hold by Congress. Additional research was called for and the FMCSA has just completed that notes JOC.com. The report with the findings is being compiled and could be presented to the Department of Transportation before the end of December 2015. No change to the Hours of Service rule will be made until after that report is reviewed.
Drunk driving and drugged driving are always serious matters. When impaired drivers operate large vehicles like semi trucks, the danger can only increase. Bulk Transporter reports that the FMCSA conducted random substance tests for some time and has chosen to continue to do so. The extension of this program is due to the fact that they experienced a high rate of test failures or suspected failures.
In addition, the Commercial Carrier Journal indicates that a new alcohol and drug screening process will soon be in place for all people with commercial driving licenses.
What should North Carolina residents do?
Every person should always employ defensive driving tactics but the fact remains that accidents can and will still happen. When the negligence of a truck driver leaves another innocent person to suffer, help is needed. Contacting an attorney should always be done in these times.