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Macon GA Personal Injury Law Blog

Hours of service regulations

Some Georgia residents may be unaware that commercial motor vehicle drivers must comply with a set of federal regulations known as Hours of Service rules. This applies to, among others, truck drivers traveling in tractor-trailers that weigh at least 10,001 pounds or that transport enough hazardous material to require placards.

All transportation companies must ensure that their drivers are following Hours of Service rules. Pursuant to these regulations, drivers are limited to, per day, 11 hours of driving and 14 hours of work altogether. Moreover, drivers may not work more than 70 hours per week on average, and once this maximum is reached on any given week, the drivers must rest for at least 34 consecutive hours, within which must pass two nights. The Hours of Service rules also call for drivers to take a half-hour break within the first eight hours of each shift.

Fatal multi-vehicle crash caused by wrong-way driver, police say

The Georgia State Police report that on Oct. 9, a four-vehicle accident in Conyers claimed the life of one person, and two other individuals who were involved were hospitalized for unknown injuries. One of the injured victims, a deputy, was reportedly pursuing the wrong-way driver at the time of the crash.

According to the report, the chain-reaction collision transpired at the intersection of Old Covington Highway and Sigman Road in Rockdale County around 11:30 p.m. when a woman driving a Hyundai Santa Fe in the wrong direction on Sigman Road smashed into a black Kia. The force of the impact caused the Kia to crash into a pickup truck, at which point both cars and the truck collided with a fourth vehicle belonging to the deputy who had been chasing the wrong-way driver.

1 killed, 1 injured in Georgia accident

One person was killed and another was injured in an accident in Warner Robins on Oct. 8. The driver responsible for the crash ran a red light at what appears to be high speed, causing the fatal accident.

Police report that around 9:15 a.m., a 22-year-old Warner Robins woman was making left turn from Burns Drive onto Russell Parkway when her 2002 Mazda Tribute was hit by a 2000 Ford F250 pickup truck, driven by a 34-year-old Perry man, that had just ran a red light. The Mazda had the green light for the turn at the time of the accident. The skid marks from the Ford at the scene began before the stop line of the traffic light. The Mazda crashed into a barrier protecting some nearby gas pumps, and the driver's side seating area and the back of the car were crushed. The pickup truck stopped on the eastbound side of Russell Parkway, facing west.

Statistics relating to truck accidents

Georgia residents might be interested in figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding crashes in 2012 that involved large trucks. Fatalities stemming from these accidents increased by 4 percent over the previous year, with 3,781 deaths in total, reportedly.

Among the 1,688 vehicles involved in fatal crashes in Georgia during that same year, 149 of them were large trucks, or about 9 percent. Research reveals that 81 percent of fatal accidents involving semi-trucks include multiple vehicles, whereas 58 percent of fatal crashes involving no semi-trucks are multiple-vehicle accidents.

4 Texas women killed in softball team bus crash

Four softball players from North Central Texas College lost their lives when the team bus was hit by an 18-wheeler in Oklahoma on Sept. 26. The team bus, carrying 15 players, was being driven home by the coach following a scrimmage against Bethany's Southern Nazarene University. The crash happened late in the evening approximately 60 miles north of the Gainesville campus on Interstate-35.

Three of the women reportedly died at the scene, and a fourth later succumbed to her injuries in a Sulphur, Oklahoma, hospital. Two other players remained in Norman Regional Hospital the following day, one in critical condition, while the coach and nine other players were treated and released.

Motorcyclist killed in Georgia by minivan driver

A motorcyclist is dead after an accident on Sept. 19 in Columbus. His Harley-Davidson was hit by a minivan driven by a Salem, Ala. woman. Both he and his wife were in the state to attend the Georgia HOG Rally. According to the coroner from Muscogee County, the man died at the Midtown Medical Center at about 10:19 a.m. An autopsy has been scheduled. The driver who hit the biker was taken into custody and charged with vehicular homicide and cited for a traffic light violation. She was released from the Muscogee County Jail after posting bond.

The accident occurred on Victory Drive near the Econo Lodge when the biker, who started entering the intersection, was hit by a 64-year-old minivan driver who did not stop at a red light while making a left turn. According to witnesses, the minivan dragged the motorcyclist for around 75 feet under the van's carriage. Another motorcyclist saw the woman on her cellphone moments following the accident, and authorities are checking to see if she was using the phone when the accident happened.

The hazard of using a cellphone while driving

While Georgia prohibits adults who are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle from a specific type of cellphone use, texting, many states have enacted bans on cellphone use altogether while driving. In large part, the reason that lawmakers in Georgia and other states enacted these bans is the troubling correlation between cellphone use while driving and traffic accidents resulting in death or injuries, as expounded by various statistics and studies.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving can be a mortal mistake. Reportedly, distracted drivers caused 18 percent of deadly traffic accidents throughout the country in 2010. In this way, distracted driving was responsible for the deaths of 3,092 people in total. In that same year, 2010, crashes attributed to distracted driving caused 416,000 people to suffer injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.

Georgia man killed in suspected drunk driving incident

A man was killed in Atlanta on the morning of August 31 when his vehicle was hit by a suspected drunk driver as he was driving home. According to authorities, his car was hit head-on at the intersection of Neal Street NW and Joseph E. Lowery Street by a car operated by a 41-year-old woman.

The woman was headed north on Neal when the collision took place. She was charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol, improper turn and reckless driving.

Georgia 3-car accident kills 1

A fatal car accident that occurred in DeKalb County on the night of Aug. 28 resulted in the death of a 51-year-old man. The man was reportedly driving a pickup truck when he collided head-on with an 18-wheeler, and a sedan that was behind the 18-wheeler also became involved in the crash.

The driver of the pickup truck died at the scene. The semi-truck driver and the sedan driver were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

2 injured after tractor-trailer strikes bus on interstate

A car accident that occurred in Villa Rica, Georgia, involving a semi-truck and a bus left two people with injuries on Aug. 20. According to the report, the incident took place in the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 in Carroll County just after 6 a.m.

A representative for the Georgia Department of Public Safety stated that the driver of the FedEx semitrailer rear-ended the bus while traveling down the interstate. The impact of the collision caused both vehicles to leave the roadway before overturning. Both vehicles then reportedly caught fire.

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