Truck Accidents Archives

Widespread support for hair testing of truck drivers

A new drug testing standard for the commercial trucking industry has significant support from numerous stakeholders and may lead to safer highways for South Carolina residents. Congress passed legislation in 2015 requiring that the Department of Health and Human Services provide guidelines for Department of Transportation implementation of hair testing of truck drivers. HHS has failed to act, which has prompted regulators, industry stakeholders and legislators to call for "swift action" and attempt to sidestep HHS.

Rise in fatal large truck accidents reported

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, between 2014 and 2015, there was an 8 percent rise in the number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents around the country. Of the 415,000 motor vehicle accidents involving trucks that were reported to police, 1 percent were fatal and around 20 percent resulted in injuries. The report defined large trucks as those weighing more than 10,000 pounds and found that 3,598 accidents ,some of which took place in South Carolina, involved this type of vehicle.

Election results could influence workers' compensation

President Trump vowed to reign in government bureaucracy and slash red tape during a contentious election campaign, and his victory on Nov. 8 may have an effect on workers' compensation programs in South Carolina and around the country. The U.S. Department of Labor has called for the workers' compensation system to be completely revised, but the minimum standards that the federal agency wants will now have to withstand the scrutiny of an executive branch that views government regulations as a hindrance to business growth and job creation.

NHTSA looks to implement 'driver mode' on smartphones

While many South Carolina drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving, lots of motorists still use their smartphones while driving. To prevent distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a set of guidelines for smartphones and other devices that may be used in cars. Public comments will be accepted on the proposed guidelines until Feb. 3.

NHTSA and FMCSA propose speed limiters for trucks

The interstate speed limit in South Carolina is 70 mph, but many road safety advocates believe that limits should be set lower for semi-tractor trailers that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully laden. Exceeding posted speed limits by 5 or 10 mph is normal behavior for a great many American drivers, but heavy trucks moving at 75 mph may be exceeding the safety ratings of their tires. The nonprofit road safety advocacy group Roadsafe suggested in 2006 that speed limiters be fitted to all vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration backed the idea in an Aug. 26 proposal.

Trying to to improve driver safety

Law enforcement agencies in South Carolina and throughout North America will be on the lookout for those who are driving in an unsafe manner. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 88 percent of all commercial truck crashes are caused by drivers acting in an unsafe manner. Furthermore, 93 percent of all crashes involving passenger vehicles are due to unsafe motoring.

Highway users remain at risk from truck accident injuries

The release of data by the federal government showing a decrease in truck accident fatalities is good news for motorists in South Carolina and across the rest of the U.S., but it comes with another statistic that shows there is still work to be done to make road travel safer. During the same period that trucking accident fatalities were going down by 5 percent, injuries caused by a semi-truck crash or other trucking accident were up by 21 percent.

New FMCSA rule requires electronic tracking of driver hours

South Carolina residents are protected from drowsy driving accidents involving large commercial vehicles by federal regulations that limit the amount of time that bus and truck drivers may spend behind the wheel. Driver hours are generally recorded on paper logs, but a rule introduced in December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will require sophisticated electronic vehicle tracking devices to be fitted to trucks and buses within two years.

Safety standards for commercial vehicle braking systems

South Carolina residents may be aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency tasked with reducing the number of road users who are each year killed or injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Passenger vehicle drivers often give semi-tractor trailers and buses a wide berth. These vehicles are large, heavy and difficult to control in emergency situations, and their sophisticated braking systems may be the difference between a near miss and a tragedy.

Fatigue wasn't the only factor in Tracy Morgan crash, NTSB says

The last time we talked about the serious truck accident that injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of his colleagues was back at the end of June. In our post about the crash, we focused on the fact that driver fatigue was the likely cause of the crash as it had been reported that the truck driver who plowed into Morgan's limousine had not slept in more than 24 hours.

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