Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Image result for semi truckSophisticated safety systems, like the ones that currently exist on many models of automobiles, can substantially reduce truck accident risks. However, the trucking industry has remained largely skeptical of the benefits of these systems.

Data indicates that there has been an increase in the number of truck accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, more than 4,300 fatalities involved people in accidents with tractor-trailers or big rigs. That is an increase of 5.4% from the previous year.

There is still more data that reveals that safety systems could help mitigate those risks, and that the trucking industry has resisted using these technologies. For instance, in 2015, only about 15% of commercial truck fleets in the country came equipped with forward collision warning systems or collision mitigation systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that as many as 107,000 accidents every year could be prevented if trucks came equipped with technologies that have been proven to help reduce the risk of accidents. These technologies include blind spot warning systems and electronic stability control systems.

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brain injury, concussion, traumatic brain injuryEven a mild concussion can have effects that are serious enough to exacerbate a person’s risk of suffering Parkinson’s disease.

Those findings come from a study conducted on 300,000 veterans. Approximately 150,000 of these veterans had suffered a mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. The persons were monitored and tracked over a period of twelve years. At the end of the study period, the researchers found that suffering even a mild traumatic brain injury increased the risk of suffering Parkinson’s disease by as much as a staggering 56%. The risk was also high in the case of moderate and severe brain injury.

The authors of the study say that the results point to the need for increased monitoring and tracking of patients who suffer from traumatic brain injury, preferably for years after the injury.

Image result for semi trailer dangerA recent truck rollover accident involving a tanker carrying several tons of liquid chocolate led to viral internet memes that featured highways flowing with molten chocolate and smart captions. However, these memes don’t do justice to the underlying seriousness of such accidents.

There is no way to know exactly how many such food truck accidents happen every year, because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration do not officially track these numbers. However, food truck accidents make for great humorous memes. When a food truck rollover accident occurs, the resulting spillage makes for dramatic visuals. In the recent past, there have been accidents involving food trucks carrying everything from frozen McDonald’s French fries and oranges, to biscuits and frozen fries. When an accident like this occurs and results in all the contents of the truck being spilled over the highway, the Internet lights up with these viral memes.

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Image result for semi truckThe federal administration’s new trucking rule that would require the use of digital tracking technology in all commercial trucks, is soon to go into effect. However, all initial reports suggest that there are still quite a few quibbles with the technology that need to be ironed out.

As of April 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rule that requires electronic logging devices on trucks and 18-wheelers, went into effect. All commercial trucks must now have a compliant electronic logging device that will help monitor and track down the driver’s hours of service.

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driving-1434211-639x424-300x200For many drivers, it is second nature, especially when they are on a familiar and long commute. Daydreaming or letting the mind wander when you’re behind the wheel, is a far more common activity than many of us realize. It is also extremely dangerous and can place you at high risk of being involved in a severe accident.

A new study finds that most people daydream while driving, and many don’t even realize that their mind has been wandering. Researchers put participants in driving simulation and monitored the electrical activity in their brains. The simulations were routine and were designed to mimic the participants’ commute home. Earlier studies also show that people’s minds are much more likely to wander when they are driving on a long and familiar route, than when they are on an unfamiliar route. In this particular study, the participants’ minds wandered approximately 70% of the time, while they were aware of the distraction only 65% of the time.

Such high levels of distraction can be hazardous behind the wheel, even though they do not involve the use of an electronic device. A driver doesn’t have to be sending a text or e-mail to be so distracted that you cause an accident. Being so mentally distracted that you fail to spot a vehicle entering from your right, or other such accident cues can prove equally devastating.

semi-truck-underride-300x169Two mothers of underride truck accident victims, who died when their vehicles lodged underneath the truck after a collision, are calling for safety measures to help prevent such accidents.

The threats posed by unsafe underrides do not get a lot of attention, but these cause some of the most devastating accidents involving large commercial trucks. Underride guards refer to the barriers, usually made of metal, that are affixed to the backs of a commercial 18-wheeler or large truck. These guards are in place to prevent smaller vehicles and passenger cars from sliding under the truck in the event of a collision.

In any accident involving a large commercial truck, there is a danger that the smaller car involved will skate or slip under the truck. The resulting accidents and injuries can be horrific. Underride car accidents almost always result in severe head injuries. Some of the worst accidents result in decapitations.

cloudy-1866581_640-300x200Even as many new big-rig trucks now come with safety features, factors like trucker fatigue and safety defects continue to persist, contributing to many truck accidents every year.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a truck safety study and found that two major factors contribute to truck accidents. Safety defects in trucks and extended driver work hours continue to be contributors to many trucking accidents every year and as a result, in 2015, there were a total of 3,815 trucking accident fatalities across the United States.

In the study, researchers found that approximately 75% of the trucks that had been involved in accidents had defects that only came to light during inspections conducted after the accident had occurred. Truck defects that were serious enough to qualify as “out- of -service” violations were more than four times as likely to be involved in an accident as compared to trucks that did not contain such defects. Examples of “out- of- service” violations include malfunctioning brakes, worn-out tires, and damaged headlights.

However, all kinds of vehicle defects increase the risk of an accident but brake violations were found to be some of the most dangerous increasing tractor-trailer crash risk by as much as three times.

Toy TruckIndiana has a dismal record when it comes to trucking safety.   The state ranked as one of the top 10 for truck and bus fatalities during the 2012 – 2014 period, with 112 fatalities in 2012, 117 fatalities in 2013, increasing to a total of 129 fatalities in 2014. That makes it an average of more than 119 fatalities in large truck and bus accidents in Indiana during this period of time, and a staggering 10.3% increase over these three years.

Many truck accidents are caused by speeding truck drivers, truckers driving while fatigued, and driver distractions. As a motorist on Indiana’s roads, what can you do to stay safe when sharing the highway with these massive vehicles?

For one thing, you can become an educated and informed driver. As a motorist traveling on the highways and byways of the state, there is no excuse for you not to be aware of the various dangers that you must know of when you’re driving anywhere around a tractor-trailer or a semi-rig.

CPAPTruck drivers who fail to undergo treatment for sleep apnea, or fail to stick with their treatment regimen have a much higher risk of being involved in a truck accident.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is usually linked to obesity. Persons, who suffer from this disorder, may suffer from respiratory disturbances during sleep which leads to disturbed sleep. When a person who suffers sleep apnea is behind the wheel of a massive tractor-trailer, often weighing more than 80,000 pounds, there is a high risk of a serious accident that can result in significant injuries and fatalities.

A new study that was conducted by researchers focused on more than 1,600 truck drivers, who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleeping disorder that disrupts sleeping patterns when airways close, reducing oxygenation and REM cycle sleeping.  Over time, this disorder can lead to severe fatigue, increased high blood pressure and daytime drowsiness. In the study, truck drivers diagnosed with apnea were prescribed treatment consisting of the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine (CPAP) which keeps the airwaves open during sleep and allowing for better sleep and oxygenation. The researchers then compared the effects of this treatment on those truck drivers who did not suffer from sleep apnea.

phones and apsApp developers have been targeting trucking drivers with a number of very innovative apps that target the special concerns and needs of truck drivers. These apps have increased in popularity, but Indiana trucking accident attorneys, and even the trucking industry, believes that the use of these apps could increase the risk of distractions while driving.

A number of apps specifically targeting truckers have recently been released in the market in the past few years. One such app, The Trucker Path, is based on a Yelp-like service for truckers. The app currently boasts of more than 300,000 active users per month, and offers user reviews of truck stops and truck rest areas.  Another app called CargoMatic allows drivers to check listed local shipments as well as determine whether they have enough space in their vehicle for the shipments. Some apps allow drivers to legally skip inspection stops.

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