According to records kept and published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Knox County tied for seventh place in 2011 for the most number of fatalities due to large truck accidents.
Statewide for that year, truck accident deaths accounted for 10.25 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. In Knox County, a total of 53 people were killed in auto accidents and with more than five percent of those people dying as a result of an accident involving some form of a large truck.
Help to increase safety on the road
Knox County roads can see many semi-truck or logging truck accidents and the need to keep local residents safe is ever present. As the New Year starts off, the area hopes that having an entire calendar year with new federal legislation in place can help to reduce the incidences of such accidents.
Last summer, some new laws were put into place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that change the number of hours that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel each working week. The goal of these laws is very clear-to reduce fatigue among truck drivers. Truck driver fatigue is a known contributor to many large truck crashes.
The FMCSA has forecasted that up to 19 lives can be saved with the new guidelines. Additionally, they expect to see a reduction in the number of truck accidents and related injuries by 1,400 and 560 respectively.
The new guidelines at a glance
Headlining the changes is a new maximum number of hours that can be recorded in a given work week. Before last July, a truck driver’s work week could include up to 82 hours. Now the maximum is 70. Other changes for truckers include:
- A daily maximum of 14 hours working in any capacity is allowed.
- A daily maximum of 11 hours driving is allowed.
- A regular 30-minute break must be taken every time eight hours are worked.
- A 34-hour or more break that includes two unique spans from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. must be taken every week.
These laws are intended to help not only truck drivers but all motorists and users of area roads and highways to stay safe.
Handling an accident situation
It is a reality that no law is able to prevent all accidents so it is important to know what to do if you or a loved one is involved in a large truck accident. No matter how minor or major the accident may appear to be, working with an attorney is one of the smartest things you can do.
The involvement of truck companies and their representatives, including insurers, can make handling such a case very complicated. Make sure to obtain proper representation so that you can be properly protected and compensated.