The Dangers of Truck Driving

Driving a large semi-truck is much different than driving a sedan, and it requires a lot more specialized training so that potentially deadly accidents and loss of commercial property are kept to a minimum. However, truck drivers often work long hours, and they experience sleep deprivation on the road in much higher proportion of normal drivers. Because of this, it seems proper that state and local governments would try their best to encourage drivers to pull off the road so that they can rest before their driving ability becomes impaired, but North Carolina made this more difficult in 2016 by cracking down on drivers pulling off the road to rest on exit ramps.

According to this article from Fleet Owner, the decision to issue more tickets to truck drivers who pull off the road to sleep was politically motivated. The increase in ticketing resulted in over 400 new tickets issued to truckers for parking illegally. Allegedly, a political donor who owns a hotel and winery near the I-77 interstate complained that the trucks were unsightly, so the state government decided to inflict harsher punishments on truckers parking on exit ramps. In order to justify this, they used traffic data from the DOT that suggested parking on the on-ramps is dangerous and causes fatal accidents, but the article counters that accidents involving semi-trucks accounted for only 1% of the total accidents in North Carolina from 2010-2014. Out of these accidents, the article claims that the accidents that involved a truck that was parked on an exit ramp were primarily caused by drunk drivers of other automobiles. Furthermore, the government based their conclusions on faulty data where deaths were counted four times instead of one, vastly overstating the number of deaths that occur because of a truck parked on the shoulder. Even so, a highway patrol officer said that “even one death is too many,” implying that the practice of ticketing truckers is not going to stop.

It seems fair that truckers should get off the road and stop at rest stops, but sometimes a trucker may not be able to make it in time. North Carolina must make an effort to increase the number of rest stops along the highway so they can accommodate more truck drivers. Considering that the vast number of crashes that occur when a truck driver is parked on a ramp is caused by other drunk drivers, it may be in the best interest of the driver to seek help from a truck accident lawyers like those from Goings Law Firm in South Carolina so that the blame is rightly placed on the drunk driver and not the parked truck.  

Government decisions should never be made to accommodate political donors, and evidence should never be cherry-picked to fit predetermined conclusions. Truck drivers are lucky to find representation in private law firms because they will help them where the government has failed. Maybe this same political donor ought to give money for the purpose of creating new rest stops.

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