Georgia residents should know that the South is the least safe region for drivers of work trucks, such as light vans, pickups and big rigs. This is just one of the conclusions that Verizon Connect, a fleet management systems provider, came to during a recent study.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released a data drill-down report, and its findings should be of interest to drivers in Georgia. The focus of the report was on fatal and non-fatal crashes in 2016 between large trucks and passenger vehicles. It turns out that there was a 3 percent increase in fatal crashes: from 4,094 fatalities in 2015 to 4,317 in 2016. The number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents rose from 4,074 to 4,213.
Across Georgia and the rest of the U.S., thousands of commercial truck drivers are on the roads, working long hours and sometimes exceeding the number of hours allotted to them each day. Truck accidents are all too common, and they also tend to be the most impactful, resulting in catastrophic injuries or death. Below are five ways that trucking companies can help keep their employees and others on the road safe.
Considering that most of Georgia's freight cargo is carried by commercial vehicles, the trucking industry is a vital part of the economy. Unfortunately, some truckers are prone to accidents. Part of the reason is that many truck drivers work long hours -- as much as 70 hours, in fact, over the course of their eight-day workweek. This means they're often drowsy behind the wheel.
Most victims of truck accidents in Georgia will decide to settle their cases outside of court. There are many good reasons to opt for a settlement over taking a lawsuit to court. For example, a settlement can be concluded in less time than litigation.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is seeking that the court rehears their charge that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has unlawfully changed the guidelines regarding screening truck drivers for sleep apnea, according to a recent court filing with the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. This case may be of interest to Georgia residents who are concerned about their safety around trucks while on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's hours of service regulations were last revised in 2013, and the safety agency is currently evaluating how making them more flexible would impact road safety. However, it could take years for any proposed changes to overcome bureaucratic hurdles, which groups including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association say is too long. OOIDA believes that the current rules encourage drowsy driving and make the roads in Georgia and across the country more dangerous.
For many people in Georgia and across the country, driving near a large number of semitrucks and other huge vehicles can be a stressful experience. The impact of a trucking accident can be devastating, especially due to the size and strength of an 18-wheeler. There are plenty of reasons for people to worry about collisions on the road, especially as truckers frequently work long hours behind the wheel and could be subject to drowsiness, distraction or other factors that could cause them to drive dangerously.