Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A.

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Fayetteville Personal Injury Law Legal Blog

What is the ELD rule for truckers?

If you are like most people who live in North Carolina, when you hear or see a report giving an account of a motor vehicle accident involving a tractor-trailer or other very large commercial vehicle, you may want to better understand the cause of the incident. Concerns about safe operation of these big rigs is understandable as a crash in which they are involved can be horrific for pedestrians or people in normal-sized passenger vehicles which are much smaller than these trucks.

Fatigue has long been identified as a significant issue for truckers and combatting fatigue is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted its Hours of Service rule a few years ago. This rule places caps on the number of hours truckers can drive each week and each day. The rule also outlines provisions for break periods. To encourage compliance with this rule, the FMCSA has also instituted its electronic logging device rule.

Why are airplane seat belts important?

Many residents of North Carolina have taken at least one flight in their lifetime. Whether it was a domestic or international flight, you also likely had to wear seat belts. But just why are these devices so important in an airplane?

There is a misconception that seat belts on planes are relatively useless simply because of the devastating impact a crash could have. However, states that the purpose of an airplane seat belt isn't for use in the event of a crash. It is actually meant to be a safeguard against turbulence.

How can truck driver fatigue endanger you?

North Carolina residents like you have to share the streets with all manner of drivers. But truckers can be particularly dangerous simply because of the size of the vehicle they operate. Due to that, we at the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd, P.A., will discuss why truck driver fatigue can be an even bigger danger than fatigue in non-truck drivers.

Truck driver fatigue can be a huge issue as truck drivers will typically suffer from fatigue more than an average driver. This is due to the nature of the trucking industry, which at times rewards its drivers for somewhat risky behaviors. The faster a driver covers greater distances, the more money they can make for their time. This leads to drivers hitting the road even when they should be resting instead.

Property and business owners are responsible if visitors get hurt

When you purchase a property or open a business, you have a basic obligation to the public to maintain a safe space. People who visit you shouldn't have to worry about getting hurt because of your lack of maintenance. To limit the potential legal liability at your property or business, you will need to be proactive about maintenance, as well as carrying proper insurance.

From clearing the snow off your sidewalks during inclement weather to effectively dealing with any messes that occur within the facility, there are many maintenance expectations of business managers and property owners. The public should have a reasonable expectation of safety when visiting the space they are legally allowed to enter. You do your part by paying for insurance and maintaining the space.

Can safety defects lead to a crash?

North Carolina residents like you rely on your vehicles to transport you safely wherever you need to go. Unfortunately, safety-related defects can cause once-safe cars to become high risks. Today, we'll take a look at how to identify a safety defect and how it can contribute to your chances of getting into a crash.

FindLaw defines safety defects as any defect involving car parts, or the entirety of a vehicle, that hamper its safety in any way. If a part fails to reach the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, it may be recalled. These failures usually affect components of a car that are critical to your safety, or critical to the car’s functionality. For example, safety belts, airbags, steering and brakes are often the subject of recalls.

Identifying and handling whiplash trauma

Drivers in North Carolina are involved in a crash may experience whiplash. While some people might want to brush whiplash off as a minor injury, it can actually cause long-lasting and potentially expensive problems for the sufferer.

FindLaw describes whiplash as one of the most common soft tissue injuries car crashes can cause. It usually involves the damage of muscles, ligaments, nerves and vertebrae after an abrupt motion (being rear-ended, for example) causes the aforementioned areas to become strained. It can also be called a hyperextension injury, cervical strain, or cervical sprain.

Truck accident fatalities rise in North Carolina

Like most people in North Carolina, you likely see tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles on the roads, highways and freeways quite regularly. While it is understood that these big rigs are necessary to help move goods from one place to another, it is also normal that you might feel a bit uneasy about being too close to them. Accidents involving semi-trucks can be extremely serious in large part due to their size and weight.

Despite laws and rules that truckers and trucking companies are supposed to follow in order to keep people safe, there continues to be too many people killed every year in crashes involving these vehicles. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that North Carolina has seen an increase in truck accident fatalities for four years in a row. In 2013, there were 121 people killed in these crashes but by 2017, that number rose to 164.

Trucker drive time limits questioned by DOT

North Carolina residents should be able to trust that people who hold commercial driving licenses take the responsibility to operate vehicles in a safe manner seriously. Unfortunately, the demands of business can push some truckers or trucking companies to limits that may create risks, such as when a person continues to drive when they are tired. Combatting trucker fatigue has been a focus for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is why the agency instituted its Hours of Service rule.

This rule sets limits on how many hours a trucker can drive in a single working day. While they may log a total of 14 hours per day, only 10 of those hours can be spent driving. After the first eight hours, a trucker must take at least 30 minutes of rest time before continuing to work or drive. Every working day must be separated by 10 hours of off-duty time. 

How can you prevent eye injuries from fireworks?

Most types of fireworks are not legal in North Carolina, but during the summer, you may travel to an area in which they are legal and decide that you would like to set some off. The month of July is a popular time for fireworks due to the warm weather and the Independence Day holiday. Unfortunately, careless handling of pyrotechnics can lead to serious eye injuries. As a matter of fact, during the two weeks before and after July 4th, fireworks-related injuries can send 280 people to the emergency room per day. 

Even more alarmingly, according to WebMD, the number of fireworks-related injuries to the eyes reported per year is on the rise. Between 2016 and 2017, the reports of injuries nearly doubled from 700 to 1,200. A significant number of these injuries affect children. 

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Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A.
232 Person Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301

Phone: 910-779-3135
Fax: 910-323-9694
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