Trucking Accidents

Each year, in the United States alone, approximately half a million trucking accidents occur resulting in at least 5000 deaths. According to statistics and data released in March 2019 by the Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts’ (LTBCF) annual report provided by the United States Department of Transportation, 2017 has seen an increase in the number of fatal crashes involving trucks and buses since 2016.

Some other alarming facts in the report stated approximately 4,100 people died in 2017 as a result of trucking accidents. Only 17% of this number (697 people) were occupants of the trucks in question, while the remaining 3403 fatalities were all individuals in other cars, innocent pedestrians, bikers etc. Given the sheer size and weight of a truck, it is no surprise that a trucking accident usually results in catastrophic and fatal injuries

Given the increasing number of cars, trucks, buses and other modes of transportation in any large, thriving city, some collisions and accidents are bound to happen and are expected. However, what is distressing is how easily a large percentage of these trucking accidents could be avoided and prevented.

What are some reasons for trucking accidents?

  • Failure to properly check blind spots when changing lanes or making turns. Big trucks understandably have bigger ‘no zone’ areas which can make it difficult to spot smaller vehicles requiring the driver to be extra cautious and attentive.
  • Losing control of the truck and sliding around on the road due to an obstruction on the road, even something small like hitting a railing or a curb can have a devastating impact for a large truck often carrying a heavier load.
  • Technical issues or faulty parts such as breaks that malfunction or tires that blow out.
  • Carrying loads that are too heavy and / or exceed the recommended regulations;
  • Driver distraction – falling asleep at the wheel, texting etc.
  • Debris or other things falling on or near the truck.

While it’s clear some things would be beyond a driver’s control such as falling debris or obstruction on the highway, many conditions are fully within the control of the truck driver or the driver of other cars on the road.

Humboldt Broncos:

In the last year, one of the most talked about and shocking trucking accidents in recent history took place in Saskatchewan, Canada on April 6 2018 when a coach bus carrying 29 members of a junior ice hockey team – the Humboldt Broncos collided with a semi-trailer truck at an intersection on highways 35 and 355.

The truck driver, Jaskirat Singh Sindhu was driving at approximately 100km per hour and failed to notice or stop at a flashing stop sign at the intersection. In 1997 when a car accident in the same intersection claimed the life of six people, the flashing stop sign was installed and the speed was reduced to 60km per hour closer to the stop to act as a warning, but Sindhu missed the signs.

Because the Broncos bus driver had the right of way, he kept going not realizing the truck had failed to stop at the stop sign.  By the time the bus driver realized the truck hadn’t stopped and hit the breaks, it was too late and the resulting collision ended with sixteen deaths and thirteen serious injuries, all the players were between the ages of sixteen and eighteen.

Sindhu survived and suffered minor injuries. It is a minor blessing the truck was carrying peat moss and nothing hazardous or flammable, had the truck been transporting gasoline for instance, the chances of anyone surviving would have been a miracle.

Earlier this year, Sindhu pleaded guilty to all the charges laid against him and was sentenced to serve eight years in prison bringing some semblance of closure for the families of the victims and an end to this tragedy.

Based on the findings of the investigation, there was no reason why the accident could not have been prevented. Alcohol, drugs, cell phones, malfunctioning parts, bad weather, none of that played a part. Sindhu said he had his eyes on a tarp that had come loose earlier. And that’s the biggest tragedy of all that a moment of inattention on the driver’s part could lead to such senseless accident and the destruction of so many lives.

When driving on the road, everyone (whether you’re driving a truck, a car or a bicycle) has a responsibility to drive safely, to be vigilant and to constantly remain aware of their surroundings because its not just their own life they hold responsibility for but the lives of anyone else on the road or in the vicinity.

 

How to promote your local business online (cheaply)

As a business owner, everyone wants your money!

As a business owner I’m sure you’re bombarded every day with emails and phone calls from companies who either want to do Toronto SEO for you or they want you to advertise on their website. If you signed up with everyone who called, you’d be spending millions of dollars every month and chances are you wouldn’t be in that much better of a situation… because they’re all offering a bunch of junk. If you want to learn the basic principles of promoting your business online without spending a ton of money doing so, pay close attention because we’re going to show you how!

Learn how to promote your business by taking advantage of free online resources.Free online resources. If you don’t want to pay big bucks for someone else to do it for you, then you’re going to have to learn how to do it yourself. The bad news is that it’s not easy and so there will be a learning curve, but the good news it that there are PLENTY of free resources out there to teach you everything you need to know and more. Don’t sign up for courses that say they can teach you how to make millions overnight, because chances are that information that they’re selling you is available for free online. Start with well trusted sites like Moz.com. You’re going to need to devote at least a couple of hours every day to getting a good understanding of the online marketing industry. Once you do, you’re going to need to spend the same amount of time applying what you’ve learned. It’s not easy but it’s the only way to do it, there’s no miracles where you can get amazing results with no money or little effort. So if you’ve decided that you don’t want to spend a lot of money, that means you have to be willing to put in the effort and it begins with learning. Work smart, not hard!

upwork-logo-1200x630Use sites like UpWork.com for outsourcing. There’s going to be some times when you’re just incapable of doing something yourself. It could be due to time constraints or it could be due to technical ability. Look, you’re not going to be able to become a PPC expert, social media expert, SEO expert, senior developer, front end wizard and graphic artist all at once. You’re going to need some help along the way, however rather than knocking on the door of that start up down the road where everyone has beards, plaid shirts and thick black glasses who will charge you $200/hour, you can instead find people overseas who are capable, reliable and can communicate well in English. If the big companies can outsource overseas, why can’t you? In order to facilitate this kind of outsourcing there are plenty of sites out there that make it very easy. One, for example, is UpWork.com. They allow you to post a job and have people bid on it. From there you can filter the applicants based on their feedback from prior jobs, see their resumes and work history etc. Picking someone who you can be confident will deliver on the job is made easy. The big key here however is that this is not a type of relationship where you can hand them work and check in once a month to make sure it’s being done, you’ll need to check in with them on a daily basis or perhaps even through out the day to make sure that not only is the work being done, but that it’s being done to your satisfaction.

slick-salesmanAvoid expensive advertising opportunities. Like I mentioned earlier, you probably get emailed and called all day every day with people looking to get your money in their pocket. A lot of those people who are calling you are trained sales professionals. They’re not marketers, they probably know less than you about promoting your business, however what they’re good at is getting you to see the “value” in what they’re selling and ultimately getting you to hand over your money. Sometimes it can be as cheap as a $30 local directory, other times it can be a shark who wants you to hand over $5000/month for him to take over everything for you. Whatever it is, don’t do it! Your money is best spent on promoting your website yourself once you learn how to do so effectively or by signing up with Google Adwords yourself and spending a budget that you’re comfortable with. Once you find a winning online PPC campaign, you can increase the budget. If you’re maximizing the campaign to it’s fullest, you can move over to media buying or Facebook PPC and Bing PPC. The point is, one of the biggest keys to being a frugal local business owner who does online marketing is to learn to say NO to the people who call and email you trying to get your money.