The holiday season is here, which means that truckers and delivery drivers will be extra busy trying to ensure that merchandise gets to where it needs to be. While it is easy for people to fuss when things aren't delivered on time or stores are out of something, they should focus on the dangers of this type of work. Unfortunately, these jobs come with serious risks.
Semitrucks are large and heavy, especially when they are carrying a full load of cargo. Truckers must be careful as they drive because wrecks that involve those rigs and personal vehicles can be devastating. The victims of these crashes often suffer from serious injuries. Death is also possible in severe accidents, which, sadly take place more than we'd like to think about.
In an effort to cut down on the prevalence of distracted driving in North Carolina and across the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed new guidelines that involve blocking many phone features while driving. The new recommendations are Phase 2 of the NHTSA's Driver Distraction Guidelines.
If autonomous truck technology becomes widely adopted, North Carolina truck drivers could take care of non-driving related tasks while they are traveling down the highways. That was one of the findings in a report from the American Transportation Research Institute. In its report, the ATRI discussed the potential of autonomous vehicle technology and explained the roadblocks that must be overcome before self-driving trucks can become a reality.
Semitrucks or eighteen-wheelers are the large vehicles that move commercial, industrial, agricultural and retail products around the country via our system of interstates. There is no question that our modern consumer culture requires these vehicles to maintain the standard of living that is a major risk for people out on the roads.
The hours that commercial vehicle drivers in North Carolina and around the country spend behind the wheel will be logged by electronic devices beginning in December 2017 as planned after a federal court ruled that the rule mandating them does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published the rule in December 2015, but it has been roundly opposed by both truck drivers and advocacy groups for the trucking industry.
If the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has its way, big rigs will soon be traveling a little slower on our nation's highways.
Commercial truck drivers in North Carolina and throughout the U.S. as well as their employers are obligated to comply with a variety of rules and regulations that have been promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. One of the rules that the FMCSA has enacted requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of each workday.
A North Carolina resident who is injured in an accident involving truck driver negligence may potentially seek compensation from the driver and the trucking company by filing a lawsuit. Many of these lawsuits are settled outside of court to avoid the time and expense of litigation. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of taking this route that injured individuals should be aware of.
Road users in North Carolina rely on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure that bus and semi-tractor trailer drivers are qualified and properly trained. Large commercial vehicles handle very differently from passenger cars and light trucks, and becoming familiar with their controls and behavior is an important part of driver training. Current federal commercial driver's license rules have been criticized in some quarters because trainee drivers do not spend significant amounts of time behind the wheel in real-world driving situations, but changes to the regulations proposed by the FMCSA in early March would add this requirement.