Cumberland County third highest rate of truck accident deaths statewide

Truck driver safety and the potential severity of truck accident results are important topics for North Carolina drivers. Records collected and published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration from 2011 show that almost 10 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities involved some type of large truck statewide.

A total of 117 people lost their lives on North Carolina roads in truck accidents that year. Cumberland County's death toll due to truck collisions was five. Only two other counties in the state saw more lives lost in such accidents. Davidson County was the site of six truck accident fatalities while 11 people died in Mecklenburg County. The Cumberland County deaths also represent more than 11 percent of all traffic deaths in the County for 2011.

Concerns about truck accident severity

The serious and potential permanent nature of many personal injuries that can occur after a truck accident should make drivers take note. The National Truck Accident Lawyers report that semi-truck collisions lead to death in the majority of cases-a full 98 percent of the time. Additionally, they assert that driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of these wrecks.

It is because of facts like these that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this year put new laws into place to better govern the hours worked by truck drivers. These national laws are part of the FMCSA's efforts to reduce accidents and keep the public safe.

Reduced working hours and more breaks are required

Before summer 2013, truckers were allowed to work up to 82 hours in an individual work week. Now, however, that number is reduced to 70. Additional guidelines are in place to provide more rest for drivers. These include:

  • A trucker cannot work more than 14 hours in one day.
  • A trucker cannot drive his or her truck more than 11 hours in one day.
  • A 30-minute break is required by a trucker every eight hours.
  • One weekly long break that encompasses two time slots from one to five o'clock in the morning and lasts at least 34 hours in all must be taken.

Clearly the goal of these laws is to limit fatigue for truck drivers, a known factor in many collisions.

Help for victims

Even the best of laws cannot prevent against all accidents. In the event that you or someone you know is affected by a truck accident, you should work to obtain proper legal representation as soon as possible. This can be an important way to take care of yourself in the process.