Recent data suggests that accidents concerning 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are more common than one might suspect. Each year, more than 4,000 people die in collisions with trucks and although these trucks make up less than four percent of all passenger vehicles on U.S. roads, 12 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involve commercial vehicles.
Recently in North Carolina, a tractor-trailer rear-ended a school bus, sending 13 people to three separate hospitals in the area. Thankfully, there were no fatalities in this accident. Officials confirmed the accident occurred about 7 a.m. near the highway’s intersection when the 18-wheeler’s driver, Kenneth Greene II, struck the backend of the bus, which was slowing down to pick up a student.
According to the Wilson’s Mills Police Department, the school bus, which was identified as number 63, was on its way to Smithfield Middle School with 12 students at the time of the accident. The local police department is investigating the details of the accident and suspect that charges could be brought against the driver of the truck.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides regulations for the safe operation of commercial vehicles; however, it is the responsibility of the commercial motor carrier to ensure that the vehicles and drivers it employs meet all federal regulations to safeguard both its employees and the general driving public.
Issues that are often involved in commercial vehicle litigation include:
• Truck driver fatigue and Hours of Service
• Truck driver distraction due to electronic devices
• Rapid Response Teams and the importance of prompt investigation
• Importance of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in Commercial Trucking cases
• Statutory background of federal trucking safety laws
Sadly, the trucking industry continues to fall short of safety regulations, and minimum insurance requirements for commercial trucks have a reputation of inadequately compensating those who have been seriously injured in a deadly collision.
Beasley Allen attorney Chris Glover handles cases of Personal injury involving heavy trucks, log trucks, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. For more information about these types of claims, contact him by email at Chris.Glover@BeasleyAllen.com.