Sleep deprivation affects many truckers in North Carolina and across the U.S. In fact, a Ball State University study that involved over 150,000 working adults found that 41% of those in the transportation and material moving industry get inadequate sleep: that is, less than seven hours a night. This put truckers near the top of professions with the most sleep-deprived workers.
Automatic emergency braking, a safety feature that can apply the brakes for drivers in times of emergency, may become mandatory on all new commercial motor vehicles. Truckers in North Carolina should know that a bill, H.R. 3773, was introduced on July 16 that would mandate AEB use if passed. It is called the Safe Roads Act of 2019.
The number of commercial vehicles involved in fatal accidents in North Carolina and around the country rose by a worrying 10% in 2017, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures, and 83% of the 4,237 deadly crashes occurred between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Accident investigators only determined that 60 of the truck drivers involved were asleep or dangerously fatigued when they crashed, but the NHTSA believes that drowsy driving is an underreported problem in the logistics sector.
Operation Safe Driver Week is an annual event that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds in the effort to reduce car crash numbers. For one week out of the year, police in North Carolina and across the U.S. as well as Canada intensify their enforcement of traffic laws. For 2019, the event will be held from July 14 to 20.
On Tuesday afternoon, there was a tractor-trailer crash on I-240 in Asheville. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened in the westbound lanes of the interstate near the Patton Avenue Exit (Exit 3). Very little information has been released about this truck crash, but initial reports indicate that the semi truck overturned beside the roadway. At least one person was trapped and had to be extricated from the wreckage. They were transported to Mission Hospital for treatment of injuries.
All it takes is one instance of not being alert or attentive for driving to become less safe for North Carolina motorists sharing the road with large semi-trucks. This is what happened with one semi-truck driver who was staring at his tablet computer when his truck collided with a mid-size car and claimed four lives. In 2017 alone, more than 4,000 lives were lost as a result of large truck crashes. As these figures remain on the rise, no significant widespread action has been taken to stop this trend.
Advocates with Road Safe America say that speed limiters and automatic emergency brakes could cut down on the number of accidents involving commercial trucks in North Carolina or any other state. Fatal truck wrecks became more common between 2009 and 2017, according to federal data. In fact, 35,882 large truck crash victims lost their lives during that period.
North Carolina residents may be interested in learning some facts pertaining to accidents involving dump trucks. Industry and federal regulators have worked together to minimize accidents by limiting driver fatigue as well as taking advantage of modern technology to keep a close watch on what happens to drivers while they are on the road.
Commercial trucks in North Carolina and elsewhere are required to meet certain safety standards to prevent accidents. However, a recent inspection blitz by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance found that around 14 percent of trucks are riding around with serious braking issues.