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Many truck crashes arise in oil regions

Truck drivers in Pennsylvania may be curious to know the reasons for the trend of increasing truck accidents. Data from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute shows that the majority of truck-involved injury crashes in North Dakota arise in the oil region. About 67% from the years 2012 to 2016 occurred in the state's oil counties. This is according to data from the Vision Zero Plan, a statewide initiative to reduce motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries.

It appears that truck driver fatigue may be a factor. This issue became a new focus of attention after two fatal crashes on the Highway 23 bypass called the New Town Truck Reliever Route. This bypass was constructed in 2014 at the cost of $25 million to ease the truck traffic through Main Street and enhance roadway safety. However, in 2017, two truckers collided after one swung over the centerline of the road. A fire erupted and left both drivers dead. In 2018, another trucker swung over the centerline, this time colliding with a pickup. Both drivers were killed in this accident as well.

As part of the push to improve commercial truck safety, federal regulations limit a trucker's hours of service to 14. Eleven of those can be spent on the road. Truckers are also required now to log their work hours electronically.

Unfortunately, many truckers violate HOS regulations and overwork themselves, becoming drowsy behind the wheel as a result. Individuals who are injured in truck accidents through little or no fault of their own may have grounds for a personal injury claim. However, it might be hard to negotiate for a settlement alone with the trucking company; legal counsel may be required. A lawyer may evaluate the case and determine how much victims could be eligible for in damages.

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