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New Hampshire Trucking Crash Investigation Reveals Inherent Safety Issues

August 21, 2019

A national news outlet recently reported that a truck driver was under the influence of drugs and reaching for a drink when he crashed into seven motorcyclists on a New Hampshire highway. The truck driver crossed a double yellow line and fatally hit the motorcyclists. These motorcyclists were part of a biker group comprised of Marine veterans and their spouses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a thorough investigation and released a detailed report regarding the crash. Evidently, after the accident, the truck driver told police officials that he was reaching for an unspecified drink on the passenger’s seat when the accident occurred. The investigation revealed that the truck driver had a lengthy and alarming driving history.

Apparently, before this accident, he was arrested in several other states for various drug and driving offenses. Despite a license suspension, he was still able to receive a Massachusetts commercial driver’s license. His driving offenses date back to when he was 16 years old in 2012. One of the accidents should have resulted in the driver’s commercial driving license being suspended. However, the truck driver slipped under the radar and was able to retain his license. The inspection following this accident uncovered over 20 safety violations with both the driver and his vehicle. The trucking company that employs the driver is also under investigation.

The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) admitted that over 1,500 state drivers should have had their licenses suspended. However, the RMV ceased processing out-of-state notices. The head of the RMV stated that the understaffed entity failed to handle the notices adequately. The head resigned shortly after the accident.

Historically, New Hampshire has fared well in terms of roadway safety; however, the rise in recent fatalities reveals that may not be the case currently. In 2019, government officials reported that 39 people died on New Hampshire roadways. Part of this may be because of the high rate of motorcycle ownership. Motorcycle accidents often result in more deadly accidents because of the inherent danger of these vehicles. Further, accident investigations reveal that New Hampshire has one of the lowest rates of seat belt usage, primarily due to the fact that it is the only state in the nation without a mandatory seat belt law. Nationally, 43% of individuals involved in fatal accidents were not wearing seat belts, compared to New Hampshire’s rate of 73%.

Another issue contributing to the high number of accidents is that neighboring states may not be diligent in ensuring driver safety. When neighboring states do not appropriately monitor their drivers, New Hampshire drivers face unsafe and unlawfully licensed drivers on their roadways.

Have You Been Injured in a New Hampshire Trucking Accident?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a New Hampshire trucking accident, contact the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Cases involving out-of-state drivers can be complicated. The New Hampshire car accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have extensive experience handling motor vehicle collisions. We can help you understand your rights and remedies, and advise you on how to proceed. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained. Contact our firm at 800-804-2004 for a free consultation.