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Cartersville Personal Injury Law Blog

Independent truckers plan protest of electronic logging mandate

Many truck drivers in Georgia are independent contractors while others work as employees for companies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is about to require that all truck drivers across the country install electronic logging devices in their trucks, but independent truckers are protesting this move as an invasion of their privacy.

The monitoring devices will capture data from a truck's engine and track the hours it is running, miles the truck has been driven and when the truck is in motion. According to FMCSA, this information will help prevent trucking accidents and save lives because it can be used to prohibit fatigued truckers from driving.

Being unwell at the wheel slows reaction time

Winter is here, and cold and flu season is upon us, which means sick drivers are on the roadways.

When you have a cold, in addition to all of the terrible symptoms your body experiences, your brain suffers as well. Illness negatively impacts performance and alertness. When you are sick your reflexes are dulled and your reaction time is sluggish, which hinders thought processes and it is difficult to process things quickly.

How truckers' drug arrests go unnoticed by employers

The opioid crisis has impacted commercial truck drivers across Georgia and the U.S. Some drivers who are addicted to legal prescription drugs like Oxycontin eventually turn to illegal drugs like heroin. This has led to documented drug-related truck accidents. To make matters worse, many trucking companies don't realize that a driver has been arrested for drug charges until it's too late.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates drug testing procedures among commercial truck drivers, requiring each driver to undergo drug testing at specific times as well as random drug testing. However, the FMCSA does not track driver arrests. More importantly, state agencies that enforce these rules often fail to communicate with trucking companies. Drug charges may not even appear on a driver's record when motor vehicle agencies fail to relay the information.

Driving tips for a safe holiday season

Georgia residents who are driving to their destinations for the holidays should consider a few tips regarding car maintenance and safe driving techniques. That way, they can protect themselves and their families in the midst of severe winter weather and rushing drivers.

AAA recommends several tasks, which should only take a week to accomplish. Drivers should properly inflate their tires, which can deflate in cold weather; replace the wiper blades; test the battery and get the oil changed to a kind that can stand up to the weather. The brakes are especially important because stopping distances will increase on wet, icy and snowy roads.

AAA studies benefits of four truck safety devices

Drivers in Georgia, as anywhere else, will probably admit to feelings of discomfort when driving around commercial trucks. However, four safety technologies could do a lot to lessen that uneasiness if trucking companies decide to install them. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has published a study measuring the benefits of these devices.

Lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, air disc brakes, and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems can prevent crashes, injuries, and deaths. Safety monitoring systems are by far the most beneficial, preventing an estimated 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries and 293 deaths every year. These alone could prevent 61 to 80 percent of crashes. The other three technologies together could prevent 500 deaths.

Speed and alcohol can lead to deadly results

Georgia motorists may be aware that drinking alcohol right before driving can increase their risk of crashing. But they may not consider how alcohol and speeding can cause catastrophic car accidents.

Those who plan to drive and consume alcohol on the same day should space those activities several hours apart. If they do not and they fail to realize that they are in no condition to drive, their actions could end up seriously injuring and killing someone else. 

How medication for drivers with ADHD can prevent crashes

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that millions in the U.S. suffer from. Drivers in Georgia should know that a recent study published in "JAMA Psychiatry" analyzed the records of more than 2.3 million drivers with ADHD.

The study's authors found that almost 84 percent of the drivers received at least a single prescription for ADHD medication. They then compared the crash risk on months when prescriptions were filled to the crash risk on months when they were not. The researchers concluded that drivers who receive medication for their ADHD have a lower risk for car accidents and that up to 22.1 percent of crashes could have been prevented if the drivers were taking medication. Specifically, males had a 38 percent lower risk for crashes, and females had a 42 percent lower risk.

Many floors fail to meet minimum ANSI slip-resistance standard

Buildings in Georgia and around the country often have floors made out of materials that have been chosen for their durability and appearance rather than their safety benefits, according to study from the risk-assessment firm CNA. The Virginia-based company looked into slip-and-fall accidents that took place over a seven-year period, and researchers found that about half of the sites they surveyed used flooring materials that failed to meet the minimum standards for slip resistance set by the American National Standards Institute.

Entry areas and walking and working surfaces were the site of about 40 percent of the slip-and-fall accidents studied by CNA. The other 60 percent or so took place in parking lots or on sidewalks. Interior office spaces accounted for less than 1 percent of the accidents. The researchers also noticed that the frequency of slip-and-fall claims has increased over the years, but the severity of the accidents has not.

Fatigued drivers and defects contribute to truck accidents

When a truck accident occurs in Georgia, victims often face life-threatening or life-altering injuries. According to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, serious vehicle defects and long hours behind the wheel increase the risk of a trucker causing a crash.

The IIHS has been researching serious truck accidents for many decades. While the number of accidents has improved, research has shown that fatigued truck drivers and trucks with defects have remained a persistent problem. For this study, researchers found that approximately 75 percent of the trucks involved in accidents had vehicle defects that were identified when the trucks were inspected after the crash. In fact, trucks that had out-of-service violations were four times more likely to become involved in serious truck accidents.

Avoid Accidents And Keep Halloween Fun

Trick-or-treating is an exciting time for kids, but it's also a dangerous time. It's natural for kids to be excited about going door to door in their costumes, and sometimes this means that they run when they should walk, or cross the street without looking. If drivers don't take extra precautions or just aren't paying attention, they set the stage for an unfortunate accident.

According to data from 1996, children are four times more likely to get hit by a car on Halloween than they are on other days of the year. So what can you do to make sure that children stay safe and keep the holiday fun?

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