Recently in truck accidents Category

April 23, 2014

I-40 Tanker Truck Crash

On Monday afternoon, a tanker truck overturned on I-40 in Haywood County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the wreck happened near mile marker six at about 3:00 p.m. For unknown reasons, the tanker truck, hauling sodium chlorite, overturned on the roadway. There is no word on whether or not any other vehicles were involved. I-40 had to be shut down as HAZMAT crews and officials with the North Carolina Department of Transportation worked the scene. No information has been released on the cause of this wreck.

Tanker Truck Was Hauling Toxic Chemical

Sodium Chlorite is a toxic chemical, similar to bleach, that is corrosive. There was also some concern about people breathing in vapors at a nearby rest area. No injuries were immediately reported, but traffic was backed up for more than eight hours. Eastbound lanes were the first to reopen, but the right westbound lane wasn't open until 8:30 a.m. the following day.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), hazardous material shipments make up between four and eight percent of all shipments. This may seem like a relatively small number of shipments, but even one tanker wreck or spill can have an incredibly large impact on victims and communities. The PHMSA also reports that in 2013, North Carolina had 366 Hazmat incidents costing a total of $1,647,081 in damages.

After a Truck Accident

After any type of truck accident, victims need to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. It's not uncommon for tanker truck drivers to haul caustic, flammable and toxic chemicals. If tanker drivers aren't careful, everybody on the road is put at risk. Because the commercial trucking industry has additional rules and regulations to follow, you need an attorney with extensive truck accident litigation experience. An experienced lawyer can stay on top of official investigations and find out if truck drivers were violating any commercial trucking regulations at the time of the crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a semi truck or tanker truck, contact the skilled team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free consultation today.

March 14, 2014

Multiple Crashes in Asheville on Thursday Morning

There were multiple crashes in and around Asheville on Thursday morning. Traffic was backed up in a variety of locations. Additionally, the morning commute was further delayed by the poor weather conditions. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, power lines were down on Sugarloaf Rd near Highway 280. Also, a three-vehicle wreck happened on Hendersonville road at Caribou road.

First responders with the Asheville Police Department were working multiple scenes this morning. There was even a crash involving an 18-wheeler in Haywood County. The wreck happened near 18-MM westbound, in the Gorge. Dispatchers were letting motorists know that they could take I-26 to I-81 as a detour if travelling west. No injuries were immediately reported in the crash involving the semi truck, but very few details have been released on the crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident, contact the experienced team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation today.

March 11, 2014

Overturned Tractor Trailer on NC 226

On Monday, a semi truck overturned on NC 226, also known as Coxes Creek Road. The 18-wheeler was hauling a mobile home at the time of the crash. The roadway was shut down for hours as crews worked on the scene of this McDowell County wreck. Motorists were diverted on detours through NC 226A and NC 221 North. At least two people were injured as a result of the crash.

At Least Two People Injured in NC 226 18-Wheeler Crash

According to WLOS ABC 13 News, one victim was taken to Blue Ridge Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, and a second victim was airlifted to Mission Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. Very little information has been released about this crash which is likely still under investigation. There is no word on what caused the 18-wheeler to overturn in the roadway. Additionally, there is no information on the condition of the two victims involved in this collision.

Large Truck Crash Causation Study

When a semi truck overturns and results in an injury-causing wreck, it's absolutely critical to find out why and how it happened. In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the results of a Large Truck Crash Causation Study. Half of the collisions studied involved passenger vehicles. The study found that for crashes involving both large trucks and passenger vehicles, there was a statistically significant link between the 10 factors listed below for both the trucks and passenger vehicles.

Associated Factors for Large Truck Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles

1. Interruption of traffic flow
2. Roadway unfamiliarity
3. Inadequate surveillance
4. Driving too fast for conditions
5. Illegal maneuver
6. Inattention
7. Fatigue
8. Illness
9. False assumption of other road user's actions
10. Distraction by object or person in the vehicle

Commercial Truck Accidents in North Carolina

Crashes involving commercial trucks can leave victims in the hospital and out of work. Since the trucking industry has a variety of additional laws and regulations to follow, it's a good idea to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been injured in a crash. The experienced team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. can answer your questions and make sure you're on the right track for getting the compensation you deserve after an accident involving an 18-wheeler.

March 6, 2014

Rule for Electronic On-Board Recorders Perpetually Delayed

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) seems to perpetually delay the proposed rule for requiring electronic on-board recorders (EOBR's) for vehicles in the trucking and transit industry. Many suggest that the delay is the result of the well-healed truck industry lobby. Proponents of the potential rule are hoping that greater accountability and accurate logging of hours will help to improve roadway safety for motorists across the U.S. With 26,000 Americans dying each year in crashes with big trucks, we need all the help we can get to make truck drivers safer.

Electronic On-Board Recorders (Electronic Logging Devices)

EOBR's, also known as electronic logging devices, are on-board monitors that will keep track of the amount of time a particular vehicle has been driven. These devices are of incredible importance to the trucking and transit industry, where hours-of-service (HOS) rules regulate how often and for how long a driver can get behind the wheel. It's not uncommon for unscrupulous drivers to violate HOS rules. These rules were put in place to prevent collisions caused by driver fatigue. If EOBR's are required on all commercial trucks, it will be difficult for truck drivers to violate HOS rules without getting caught. Accurate logging of hours and greater accountability will help keep big-rig drivers awake and alert.

Safety Implications

Critics are citing too much regulation and 'unnecessary' expense as two reasons why they don't agree with the proposed rule. It's important to note that the potential safety implications of EOBR's would mean fewer crashes involving fatigued drivers. Since crashes involving tractor trailers are often incredibly devastating, preventing these wrecks needs to be a top priority for the FMCSA. Semi trucks are much larger and heavier than traditional passenger occupant vehicles, and crashes can often cause serious and fatal injuries.

After a Truck Accident

After any kind of accident involving an 18 wheeler or other commercial truck, you should contact an experienced truck injury lawyer. Professionals in the trucking industry have an important set of rules and regulations to follow. If those regulations aren't being properly adhered to, people can get hurt or killed. Evidence of negligence or misconduct might not be immediately apparent either, so an experienced truck accident attorney can ask the right questions and safeguard your rights. An attorney can be your advocate during this difficult time. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, contact the skilled team at the Davis Law Group, P.A. for a free consultation.

January 29, 2013

Bus Crash Last Night - Did Driver Fall Asleep?

Imagine a city bus full of passengers heading down a busy city street. The bus driver slumps over in his seat. The bus blows through a red light and T-bones a car, sending it spinning around in the street. Just like in the movies, the bus keeps crashing into cars and taxis as it careens through intersections. This scenario happened in New York City last night. The driver lost consciousness while going north on Madison Avenue near East 81st at around 7:05 p.m.

A frightened but quick thinking passenger, Guy Praisler, rushed to the front of the bus, jerked at the driver and grabbed the wheel. hero bus crash.JPG The driver then woke-up and hit the brakes.

Really?? Now the bus driver claims to have fainted. As someone who has investigated dozens of bus and truck crashes, this sounds like a classic case of a fatigued bus driver falling asleep behind the wheel. The statistics would certainly indicate that fatigue is the most likely cause of this crash.

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May 7, 2012

Train Cuts Tractor-Trailer in Two - No Injuries Reported

Last Friday, a dangerous railroad crossing in Kings Mountain, North Carolina claimed a tractor-trailer loaded with cotton bails as its latest victim when a huge train sliced the 18-wheeler in two near Battleground Avenue and Oak Street in Kings Mountain. Luckily, no one was injured. The video is amazing.

Town officials have long known about the dangers presented by the dangerous railroad crossing according to the Gaston Gazette, but until now had failed to act. The problem is that the railroad tracts are quite high above the level of the road, and the road ramps sharply upward as you approach the tracks. In this collision, the tractor-trailer's landing gear caught on the tracts, and the truck was stuck.

Although there are signs on both sides of the tracks prohibiting tractor-trailers from using the crossing, there have been 4 such train wrecks at this crossing since 2011, and 14 since 1976. North Carolina DOT has been after city leaders since 2008 to make them close the crossing. City leaders have previously failed to take action. The near fatal collision in this case should cause the city to close the crossing.

The truck driver and his passenger narrowly escaped the speeding locomotive, jumping from the truck just seconds prior to impact. After the crash, city leaders decided to temporarily close the railroad crossing, and have indicated that they plan to hold a public hearing on the issue of permanently closing the crossing. For the City to Ignore such a clear safety hazard for so long amounts to a reckless indifference to the safety of the general public.

Cities and towns in North Carolina, in conjunction with DOT, decide where railroad crossings will occur. If any crossing presents an unusual hazard, such as this one, city leaders have the authority and obligation to close it.

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January 28, 2012

Bigger & Heavier Trucks Mean More Dangerous Roads

triple trailer truck.jpgThis image could become a common sight on the interstates and rural roads throughout North Carolina and around Asheville if the truck industry is successful in Washington this week.

Truck industry big shots are pushing Congress to let states decide how big and how heavy highway trucks should be, and their goal is simple: To Put Bigger and Heavier Trucks on the Road! The problem is that bigger and heavier trucks mean more deaths and destruction for our nation's citizens. This coming Thursday, Congress will vote on the bill.

One North Carolina State Trooper, Nathan Mitchell, will be in Washington on behalf of the NC Troopers Association. The Asheville Citizen Times reported that he plans to tell Congress that bigger and heavier trucks will mean more Americans will be killed and maimed if the measure passes. Trooper Mitchell's position is supported by statistical data.

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November 8, 2011

Sleep Disorder Blamed in Many Fatal Truck Accidents

tired truck driver.jpgOdds are that if you are driving on an interstate highway, more than 25% of the tractor-trailers you see will be operated by a fatigued truck driver. This is because approximately 3 million U.S. truck drivers have what is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is characterized by sleep-disordered breathing that results in daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, micro-sleeps, psychomotor deficits, and disrupted nighttime sleep. OSA dramatically increases a truck driver's risk of being involved in a fatal truck accident. Unfortunately, many truck companies continue to deny that many of their drivers suffer from OSA and refuse to conduct company sponsored screening for the disorder. The problem of fatigued truck drivers has been a deadly problem for years.

In 2008, the medical advisory panel of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - the government agency that regulates the truck industry - recommended that companies screen their drivers for OSA. Very few truck companies have done anything to identify which of their drivers have OSA. One exception, is Schneider National Trucking.

Don Osterberg is the Vice-president of Safety at Schneider. He stated, "[s]o now we're three and a half years later and the DOT has taken no action." The lack of a federal regulation did not stop Schneider from taking responsibility for its drivers. Schneider screened all of its more than 2000 truck drivers. They discovered that a very significant percentage suffered from OSA. The great thing about this disease is "how effectively it can be treated," Osterberg said. Schneider's program is not perfect, but at least they have taken a huge step in the right direction. More screening and regular monitoring is needed throughout the trucking industry.

Many doctors treat sleep apnea with a device called a CPAP - for "continuous positive airway pressure." The CPAP delivers air through a tube and mask into the nose and mouth, thereby keeping the airway open and allowing the patient to maintain continuous deep sleep. Without the device, those with OSA literally stop breathing for short periods of time, and then when their oxygen level gets to a dangerous point, they wake themselves up enough to start breathing again. This cycle repeats over and over again each night, preventing the person from ever reaching the very important deep "REM" sleep.

As a result of Schneider's screening program, the company saw a 30 percent decline in the number of truck accidents over a 2 year period. This has resulted in dramatic savings for the company and it's insurer. The cost savings, in the number of innocent lives that have been saved by this program, is what is really important.

Many fatal truck accidents in North Carolina are the result of an overworked, and over-tired truck driver falling asleep at the wheel. We have seen this problem way too many times in our law firm. As we have discussed before, there are several tips you can follow that might prevent you from being in a truck accident:

1. If you have to pass a tractor-trailer, watch for signs that the truck driver might be fatigued such as weaving or erratic driving. If you observe any signs of fatigue, back off and do not attempt to pass.

2. If you are going to pass a tractor-trailer, then wait until you have a clear path to drive completely past the entire big rig and accelerate so that you do not get caught in the truck driver's blind spot. Do not allow yourself to get stuck beside a tractor-trailer.

3. If you have to stop on the highway because of traffic in front of you, leave room between your vehicle and the vehicles in front of you - so that you have an emergency escape route, and you should watch for approaching trucks.

4. Avoid driving late at night. Many truck drivers prefer to drive at night because traffic is lighter, and law enforcement has fewer officers patrolling the highways. Unfortunately, this is also when many tired truckers fall asleep at the wheel.

5. Report truck drivers who are weaving or driving erratically to law enforcement. In North Carolina, you can dial the State Highway Patrol on your cell phone by pressing *47 and then "send".

At Davis Law Group, we believe that the federal government should require each motor carrier to pay for OSA screening of each of its truck drivers, and then mandate treatment for those with OSA. This would save countless lives each year on our nation's highways.

Please drive safely out there!

July 5, 2011

Truck Driver Crashes Into AmTrak Train - Wilmington Passengers Safe

nevada train crash.jpgA tractor-trailer driver slammed his big rig into the side of an AmTrak train at a public crossing in a rural Nevada town on Friday. The collision ripped several of the train cars apart and caused a terrible fire. The LA Times reported at least 6 people, including the truck driver, were killed and scores were injured.

The passenger train was traveling from Chicago to California at the time of the crash. Two of the passengers on the train were from Wilmington, North Carolina. Grandfather Jay Peterson and his grandson Chris Lachance planned for their train journey to be a great summer adventure - destined for a toy train convention - but it was full of more excitement than they expected. The two North Carolina citizens stayed calm during the disaster and provided much needed help and aid to those who were injured.

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January 7, 2011

Texting While Driving Claims Another North Carolina Teen's Life

chocowinity-teen-killed-in-accident.jpgAnother North Carolina teenager has tragically died as a result of texting while driving. WITN news just reported that yesterday afternoon at 3:42pm, Sarah Edwards appears to have glanced down at her cell phone to read a text message. That distraction caused her Honda Accord to drift across the yellow line into the on-coming lane where it struck the rear tandems of a tractor-trailer logging truck. She died instantly. The collision occurred on Chandler Road in Beaufort County. Her cell phone records show that she read a text message one minute before the first of several 911 calls were placed reporting the collision.

Ms. Edwards, 18 of Chocowinity, was a senior at Southside High School in Washington. Her funeral is this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Pamlico Memorial Gardens in Washington.

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December 13, 2010

How To Avoid A Truck Accident In Asheville

truck accident avoid.jpgWith over 5,000 people dying in truck crashes each year on our nation's highways, it is important for every driver to understand all of the ways to avoid being involved in such a collision.

1. Stay Out Of The Truck's Blind Spots - If you are sharing the road with a commercial motor vehicle such as a tractor-trailer, either trail behind the truck at a safe distance or pass it quickly. Do not ride along beside the truck! Most crashes between cars and trucks occur when a truck changes lanes and collides with a passenger vehicle. Don't get caught in the blind spot.

2. Leave Yourself An Escape Zone - When passing a tractor-trailer, you should always plan on the truck coming over on you in your lane. If you plan for such an emergency, then you will be prepared in the event it happens and have a plan for what to do. The most important thing to plan for is where to move your car. For example, if you are passing a large truck on an interstate highway, do not attempt to pass while you are crossing a bridge. Why? Because there is no where to move your vehicle in the event a truck comes over into your lane. Instead, wait until you have an open stretch of highway with a wide shoulder before you start your passing maneuver.

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August 27, 2010

North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Driver Faces Lengthy Sentence For U-Turn

NC Truck Driver U-turn.jpgA North Carolina tractor-trailer driver is in jail in Jefferson County Wisconsin for making an illegal u-turn that caused a motorcyclist to crash into the side of the big rig and die.

Jeremy M. Pearce, 39 of Henderson, N.C., was charged with homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle following the crash he caused on Highway 16 near Hustisford Road in the town of Ixonia on August 16, 2010 at 1:10p.m. Pearce originally denied to investigators that he was trying to make a u-turn and claimed he was only trying to make a left hand turn on Hustisford Road, but investigators felt a u-turn was in progress given the location of the tractor trailer after the crash - it was parked across Highway 16.

When investigators interviewed Pearce a second time, he admitted that he was making a u-turn at the time of the deadly collision. He also acknowledged that it was against the rules of his truck company to make such a maneuver.

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July 10, 2010

Four Witnesses Watched Trucker Hit Cary Motorcyclist on I-85

Cary Motorcyclist.jpgThe North Carolina State Highway Patrol reported that four (4) separate witnesses called them about the horrendous crash caused by tractor-trailer driver Michael Gray Rigsbee, 38, of Creedmore. Rigsbee struck a motorcycle ridden by Sean Christopher Newman, 38, of Cary near mile marker 220 in Henderson, North Carolina. The collision sent Newman into the median. Newman was thrown from his motorcycle, and authorities say he was killed instantly.

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July 9, 2010

Cary, NC Motorcyclist Killed By Hit & Run Tractor-Trailer Driver

Cary Motorcyclist Killed by Hit & Run TT.jpgThursday evening, around 7 pm on I-85 southbound near Henderson, NC, a tractor-trailer driven by Michael Gray Rigsbee, 38, struck a motorcyclist. The impact near mile marker 220 caused Sean Christopher Newman, of Cary, to lose control of his motorcycle and crash into the median. The severe impact instantly and tragically killed Newman. Unbelievably, the truck driver did not stop after the collision.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Troopers caught up with the criminal truck driver approximately 20 miles further down the interstate. State Troopers charged the truck driver with 2nd degree murder, careless and reckless driving, and felony hit & run. The truck driver is currently behind bars in the Vance County Jail under a $120,000 bond. Let's hope he stays there.

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June 3, 2010

Reckless Truck Driver Kills North Carolina DOT Worker On I-40

DOT Worker KilledI-40 Truck 1 6-2-10.jpgA distracted tractor-trailer driver ran-over and killed a North Carolina Department Of Transportation (NC DOT) worker on Tuesday morning. The crash occurred as several NC DOT workers were beginning to place Work Zone signs and cones in preparation for a lane closure on I-40 West in Duplin County. North Carolina DOT was closing the lane so that workers could perform maintenance on a bridge at the intersection of NC Highway 24 and I-40 West. This is a rural area where Interstate 40 is straight and level, and the line of sight for approaching drivers is at least one-half (1/2) mile. Click here for 27 photos taken at the scene.

ABC News Channel 11 (WBTV) out of Raleigh dispatched a helicopter and crew to the scene and obtained areal footage of the crash site:

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