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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Will the New Rule to Prevent Truck Accident Injuries Be Ignored?

All car accidents can be devastating. But when one of the vehicles in the accident weighs 40 tons (average weight of a semi-truck), the chance for serious injury goes through the roof.

Tractor Trailer1_07032014Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a study that supports their new "hours-of-service" rule, aimed at cutting down the number of drowsy truckers. According to the findings, the new rule may prevent 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries, and save 19 lives each year.

But there's a problem the trucking industry faces that may hamper this progress - driver shortage, which could result in some ignoring the new rule or putting more inexperienced drivers on the road.

If you've been injured in a truck accident, click here to contact a NC truck accident lawyer.

Truck Accident Statistics in NC and Nationwide

In 2012, truck accident statistics rose across the nation. In North Carolina the number of fatalities from truck accidents rose by 30%.

Nationwide, 3,921 people were killed in truck accidents that year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  This was a 4% increase from 2011.  The number of injuries increased even more - 18% - from 88,000 injuries in 2011 to 104,000 truck accident injuries in 2012.

It's worth noting that other parties often suffer the worst damages. According to the NHTSA, only 18% of those killed in truck accidents were the truck drivers. 73% were occupants of other vehicles and 10% were non-occupants (such as pedestrians).

New Hours-Of-Service Rule for Trucking Companies

In July 2013, the FMCSA enacted their new "hours-of-service" rule, imposing tighter limits on how long truckers could drive without a break. The new rule:

  • Decreases the maximum average work week hours from 82 to 70.
  • Allows drivers to resume after 70 hours, only if they have rested for 34 consecutive hours, "including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most - from 1-5 a.m."
  • Requires drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
  • Retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.

 

The study released earlier this year specifically mentions that drivers who took a 34-hour restart - getting two nights of rest instead of just one - were more focused, less sleepy, and showed less lane deviation.

It was one of the largest real-world studies ever conducted with commercial motor vehicle drivers, according to the FMSCA.

Truck Driver Shortages Creates Safety Concerns

In North Carolina, truckers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) to drive large trucks and tractor-trailers. It is generally customary for companies to also require up to a year or two of driving experience.

Unfortunately, trucking companies are having serious problems finding enough people to do transport jobs. A shortage of qualified drivers was described as the third most critical issue facing the trucking industry in 2013.

Faced with a limited talent pool and too few truckers willing to do the job, some employers may be tempted to pressure current workers to drive more than they should or lower their standards and hire drivers who may not have as much experience.

The trend of increasing truck accidents could thus continue, with motorists paying the price with their health or their lives.

NC Truck Accident Lawyers

If a truck driver causes a collision because he or she is drowsy, inexperienced or negligent in general, both the driver and the trucking company can be held legally liable.

Typically there are insurance policies to cover this sort of negligence, but the insurance companies can be very aggressive in their defense and evidence can disappear very quickly in our experience.

If you've been injured in a truck accident, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or visit www.farrin.comright now for a free case evaluation.

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078