Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson

Kennesaw Personal Injury Law Blog

Trucking crashes highlight roadway dangers

Truck drivers in Georgia and across the country are often driving extended hours in the dark on monotonous roads. This can leave them potentially at risk for serious truck accidents along with everyone else on the road. Passengers and drivers in other vehicles are particularly at risk because they are far more likely to die or be seriously injured in a trucking crash. Indeed, two crashes have drawn additional attention to the issue of truck driver fatigue and its deadly potential.

One North Dakota bypass was constructed to ease the amount of truck traffic going through a small town and improve highway safety. However, in October 2018, a semi-truck met a smaller pickup head-on at the bypass that had been constructed to prevent trucking accidents. This followed an earlier crash involving two 18-wheeler drivers crashing into one another in the same area, killing both truck drivers. In both cases, one truck driver crossed over the center line in the road, causing the deadly collision. In this area, most truck accidents are connected to the state's oil region, perhaps due to the volume of truck traffic connected to the growing industry.

International Roadcheck set for June 2019

Truck and bus drivers in Georgia will want to make sure that they and their vehicles comply with federal regulations because the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold its International Roadcheck from June 4 to 6. Inspectors across the nation will be pulling over CMVs at random to conduct mostly Level I inspections. These are the most comprehensive inspections, covering both driver and vehicle compliance.

Drivers will most likely be asked to provide their CDLs, Medical Examiner's Certificates and work logs. Their trucks will have the brakes, steering, tires, wheels, lights and cargo securement straps and chains inspected. Emphasis will be placed on steering and suspension because these are critical in carrying the heavy load of CMVs, maintaining stability during braking and acceleration and keeping the tires aligned. Proper alignment also ensures that the tires wear evenly, reducing the chances of tire failure.

OSHA standards for powered industrial trucks may change

Georgia residents whose jobs involve working with powered industrial trucks may see a change in safety standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is considering changes to its standards for powered industrial trucks used in construction, maritime and general industry. The agency put out a request for information on March 11. Comments and information will be accepted until June 10.

In 1971, an initial standard was adopted using the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and the American National Standards Institute. However, while the standards of those organizations have been updated multiple times, OSHA has only revised its standard once.

Safety group calls on Congress to impliment FMCSA proposals

A group of road safety advocacy groups including the Truck Safety Coalition and Georgia-based Road Safe America have called on Congress to implement commercial vehicle safety regulations that were proposed 12 years ago. The coalition thinks that an upcoming infrastructure bill could provide lawmakers with a way to avoid partisan politics and get the regulations passed.

The commercial vehicle regulations at the center of the political quagmire would require tractor-trailer operators to switch on the speed limiting devices that are fitted to nearly all large trucks and install automatic emergency braking systems. Trade groups including the American Trucking Associations are opposed to automatic braking systems because of the costs involved, but they do support speed limiters as long as both cars and trucks are required to use them.

Report: 40,000 traffic fatalties in U.S. for third straight year

Despite a growing focus on traffic safety, it appears that the high rate of vehicle accident deaths did not improve last year. Recent figures show a continuing trend related to fatal accidents that is affecting drivers across Georgia.

According to a recent study by the National Safety Council, the United States topped 40,000 vehicle accident deaths for the third year in a row in 2018. This review of traffic data reflects that 2018 had more than 14 percent more traffic-related deaths than in 2014. If there is a silver lining, it is the fact that fatalities declined 1 percent from 2017. However, that is a small drop considering the total number of fatalities was still above 40,000.

New Technique Could Reduce Shoulder Injuries Among Truck Drivers

An under-reported cause of workplace injury in Georgia and across the United States is shoulder injury related to landing gear cranking. A recent study now shows that through strategic positioning, it is possible to prevent injury to truck drivers while raising or lowering trailers.

The study was performed by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries in conjunction with North Carolina State University. The study oversaw 12 male truck drivers during the raising and lowering of their trailers. The researchers tracked 16 muscles affecting shoulder operation on each of the 12 workers during cranking operations. The researchers also studied the range of motion for each of the 12 workers' shoulders during cranking.

Car seat safety tips parents should know about

Installing a car safety seat properly is one of the most important steps a parent can take to keep their children safe. Parents in Georgia and throughout the country are encouraged to install seats in a rear-facing direction until the children meet requirements established by the manufacturer. Once those thresholds have been met, the seat should face forward. The child should use the seat until he or she is too heavy or too tall for it.

Parents can use booster seats designed for older children until they are able to use a seat belt safely. This usually happens by the time a child turns 12, but children should not sit in the front seat before they turn age 13. Parents are encouraged to take their time regardless of what type of seat that they are installing. A representative from the American Academy of Pediatrics said that 95 percent of parents leaving a hospital with a newborn make errors installing a car seat.

Avoiding the five most common workplace accidents

All employees in Georgia, whether they work in the construction, retail or agricultural industry, should know about the following five types of workplace accidents and how to avoid them. First on the list are slip, trip and fall accidents. Slips can be caused by wet or oily surfaces, weather hazards and spills that are not taken care of in time. Workers may also trip in poorly lit areas and on torn carpeting, loose cables and clutter.

Good housekeeping, proper footwear for employees and level walking surfaces that have traction are all important factors in preventing such accidents. Workers should also be urged to report spills and other hazards as soon as they appear.

Car accidents, violence top causes of workplace deaths

Every day, thousands of workers in Georgia and across the U.S. face dangerous work conditions. In fact, a recent report found that nearly 5,200 American workers were killed on the job in 2016, which was an increase from the 4,836 who were killed in 2015. The report, entitled "Death on the Job, the Toll of Neglect, 2018," was issued by the AFL-CIO federation of unions.

According to the report, hazardous working conditions led to approximately 150 worker deaths every day in 2016. Car accidents and other transportation incidents represented the top danger for workers, accounting for 2,083 deaths. Workplace violence was the second most common worker hazard, accounting for 866 deaths. In addition, workplace violence caused 27,000 lost-time injuries, two-thirds of which were suffered by women.

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