Underride accidents on North Carolina highways can lead to serious injuries or death. Some believe that federal regulations could help reduce the likelihood of these crashes taking place. Legislation called the Stop Underrides Act of 2017 would require underride guards on the front and sides of many trucks. It would also increase standards for those that are on the back of trucks. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle ends up under a larger truck.
North Carolina motorists are likely aware that tractor trailers pose a big threat to passenger vehicles. There is some good news to report in that deaths during the transportation of freight across the United States declined by nearly 24 percent between 2000 and 2015. Unfortunately, there are still roughly 4,000 deaths annually caused by collisions involving big trucks. While there are about 10 times that amount caused by other traffic incidents, improving safety around commercial motor vehicles remains a huge priority for regulators and law enforcement across the country.
Drivers in North Carolina and across the country have good reason to be concerned about the dangers of trucking accidents. Crashes involving large trucks can be devastating and even deadly to people in smaller vehicles let alone cyclists or pedestrians. Those collisions are on the rise, according to federal data. In 2016, over 4,300 people were killed in large truck accidents, a 28 percent increase over the same data for 2009. Despite significant advances in safety technology since that time, however, large commercial trucks are not required to have crash-avoidance systems installed.
In June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held its International Roadcheck inspection blitz. During that time, there were 11,897 taken off of the road in addition to 2,664 drivers. Of the inspections that were conducted, 45,400 were the Level I variety. For drivers, the most common reason why they were taken out of service was for hours-of-service violations. Other top reasons included not having the right type of drivers license and false record of duty status.