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Certain truck crashes linked to highway and driver fatigue

Oklahoma drivers might want to avoid the Highway 23 bypass in North Dakota. The roadway, coined the New Town Truck Reliever Route, has been the site of at least two deadly truck accidents since it was constructed in 2014.

According to news reports, the $25 million bypass was designed to ease traffic congestion on Main Street in New Town and increase traffic safety in the area. However, in 2017, two tractor-trailer trucks smashed into each other head-on while traveling across the bypass, causing both vehicles to burst into flames and killing both truck drivers. On Oct. 5, 2018, a tractor-trailer collided head-on with a pickup truck near the same mile marker as the previous crash, killing two people.

Apparently, both crashes were caused when one of the tractor-trailer drivers crossed the center line and drove into opposing traffic, and experts say that the design of the road could be partially to blame. Another factor is thought to be truck driver fatigue. In 2017, the federal government began requiring truck drivers to record their work hours on an electronic logbook. Federal rules forbid drivers from working more than 14 hours per day. Only 11 of those hours are allowed to be behind the wheel. According to crash data obtained from North Dakota's Vision Zero Plan, 67% of large truck injury crashes in the state occur in its oil region.

Victims of truck accidents might be owed compensation for their losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and property loss. A personal injury attorney may be able to investigate the accident, gather evidence proving the truck driver was at fault and file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim. If a truck driver kills someone in a truck crash, the victim's family may be owed compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income and loss of companionship.

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