Turkish Truck Crashed into a House in a Bulgarian Village

Incidents | August 8, 2023, Tuesday // 10:06|  views

A heavy truck crashed into a house in the village of Osen, Vratsa region, late last night. For a long time, the driver of the truck with Turkish registration was blocked in the already half-destroyed building, bTV reported.

The truck was at such a high speed that it literally pushed the house, reports the local media Bulnews.

For more than 30 minutes, neighbors, firefighters and paramedics tried to reach the driver. The cab of the truck was trapped by the walls and roof of the property. Fortunately, the driver was brought to consciousness and transported to the Vratsa hospital, and a little later he was taken to "Pirogov" hospital in Sofia.

The accident happened at 11 p.m., and by 7 a.m. this morning the vehicle had still not been moved. A second specialized tug is waiting, bTV reported.

Traffic was diverted through the settlement due to the closed international road E-79 between Mezdra and Botevgrad.

"The situation scared me because there is an elderly woman living in the house, who luckily was not there because it could have been fatal," explains the deputy mayor of the village.

She added that the truck driver was taken to "Pirogov".

"There were similar incidents years ago, in the same place. Then only the fence was damaged. A month ago, a truck was stuck in front," says Nikolay Georgiev, who is one of the owners of the property.

He adds that thousands of trucks pass through the village every day and that the institutions do not take measures on the matter.

At the same time, BTA reports this morning that in 2022, buses and trucks were involved in 1,229 traffic accidents with injured road users. This is 18.6% of the total number of accidents for the year, according to data from statistics of the State Agency for Road Traffic Safety.

"Unfortunately, the dark statistics count 144 lives lost, which is a 27% relative share of the total road deaths in the past year. 1,670 people were injured in these serious traffic accidents," the DABDP also states.

According to the statistics for the first six months of 2023, the values are similar – 559 accidents with injured road users, which is again a relative share of 18.6% of the total number of accidents for the half year. 70 people died and 774 road users were injured, according to the data of the agency dealing with road safety.

"It takes the efforts of the whole society to drive safely on the roads. The most important thing is to comply with the Road Traffic Act and other regulatory documents supplementing the rules of road behavior. We should not underestimate other written and unwritten rules, the observance of which will ensure traffic safety in the public transport of goods or passengers", urges the State Agency for Road Traffic Safety (SARTS).

Here are some key elements that the SARTS advises drivers to pay attention to:

Seat belts on buses
"We often talk about the technical condition of the buses, the observance of the rest time of the drivers, as well as the problems related to the road infrastructure. But there is another very important aspect - the wearing of seat belts by passengers on buses.

According to the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO), wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal or serious injury by around 60%. In the event of an impact, sudden stop or rollover, an unbelted passenger on the bus can be ejected from their seat with such speed and force that it is defined as an ejection. One may hit a seat in front of him, the ceiling, or fall and crush another passenger on the bus. For example, last year, when a bus with children overturned on "Trakia" highway and due to the underestimation of the safety belts, more than half of the passengers suffered varying degrees of injuries.

In 2022, 212 traffic accidents involving buses occurred in Bulgaria. A total of 64 people lost their lives, another 64 were seriously injured, and 311 had minor injuries. The worst accident in the summer of last year was with a Romanian bus on the main road Veliko Tarnovo - Ruse, which claimed the lives of four and eight of the passengers were injured.

Tires are an invariable part of the transport flow
The other participants in public transport are the heavy-duty trucks. They are an invariable part of the transport flow on the country's roads and have their role in the development of modern society, economy and connectivity. The responsibility of the transport companies, as well as the drivers of the tractors, is serious because, due to their large mass, these vehicles cause serious consequences in the event of an accident involving them, the road safety agency specifies.

According to traffic police statistics for the past year 2022, heavy trucks were involved in 252 accidents with injured road users, resulting in 61 lost lives and 326 injuries. In 126 of these accidents, the tow truck drivers committed traffic violations that led to the accident.

In general, the responsibility of truck drivers for road safety is not only a legal obligation, but also a moral one, considering the potential consequences of accidents involving these large vehicles. Proper training, compliance with the law and regulations, morale and attitude to safety are essential for safe driving on the roads, state the SARTS.

The agency also sends specific safety advice to carriers and drivers of public transportation of goods and passengers in the summer:

Before any journey is undertaken, the transport company should ensure that the vehicle is in good working order. In addition to a periodic technical inspection, the engine, clutch and tire integrity, brakes, cooling system and air conditioning should be regularly inspected to avoid damage or overheating.

Tire condition
In summer, road surfaces can become extremely hot. Heat causes the air inside the tires to expand and increase tire pressure. That's why it's important to check your tire pressure regularly before a trip.

During the summer months, tourism is at its peak, which is also associated with the transportation of more people and goods. It is important to ensure that the vehicle is not overloaded, as this contributes to even higher stress on the tires. This factor, together with high temperatures, increases the level of risk of a tire bursting, peeling or other deformation.

At high temperatures, the process of tire wear is accelerated. Even if the tire does not look worn, the sun contributes to the weakening of the structure and accelerates the aging process.

To reduce the risk of accidents with flat tires in the summer, it is essential that trucks and buses undergo regular tire checks and maintenance, adhere to the recommended pressure, avoid overloading and drive carefully. Drivers should be aware of signs of tire failure, such as unusual vibrations, noises or handling problems, and pull over safely if they suspect a tire problem.

Load distribution
When transporting cargo, make sure it is properly distributed and properly secured. In this way, you will prevent displacement during the trip, which can put the stability and handling of the vehicle at risk.

Vehicle mass
Adhering to traffic rules and avoiding excessive vehicle weight is crucial to road safety and the well-being of all road users. Overloading leads to an increased risk of accidents, puts strain on the brakes and requires longer stopping distances, increases tire pressure and risks a flat tire. It also leads to accelerated wear of suspension and transmission components, engine stress and higher fuel consumption.

Provide water to the driver and stop regularly for rest. If you are carrying passengers, encourage them to drink more water, especially on long journeys.

Sun protection
Wear appropriate sunglasses to avoid glare while driving. If you are carrying passengers, make sure that all passengers, especially children and the elderly, are protected from direct sunlight. You can use shades, curtains or other, especially on a long trip.

On long trips, plan regular breaks to avoid driving fatigue. Fatigue can increase reaction time in risky situations on the road. Prolonged driving can lead to highway hypnosis, a drift in which the driver becomes less attentive to the road. Breaks help break up the monotony, keep the driver focused on driving, allow for hydration, exercise and prevent cramping.

When carrying passengers, never leave passengers unattended in a parked vehicle with the engine off, as temperatures inside can quickly become dangerous.

Peak heat
If possible, plan your trip during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This will reduce heat risks and the risk of truck traffic being restricted due to high temperatures.

Be prepared for what the traffic is like. Summertime often means increased traffic on roads and highways. Be informed about road conditions, planned repairs and possible alternative routes. Check if there are roads closed by order of the regional directorates of the Ministry of Internal Affairs due to the high temperatures.

Keeping your distance
Keeping a safe distance while driving is important for road safety. It is important that drivers keep enough distance from the motor vehicle in front of them to be able to stop in the event of a sudden need - at least 2.5 or 3 seconds of time relative to the motor vehicle in front of them, and double 5 in rain - 6 seconds. In the case of heavy goods vehicles, it is necessary to observe a greater distance, due to the need for a greater stopping distance, due to the greater mass of the vehicles. Choose a fixed object on the side of the road, such as a sign or tree, and when the vehicle in front of you passes it, count "one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three." Your vehicle must pass the same object after you finish counting. This gives you a distance of approximately three seconds.

Weather conditions
Keep an eye on the weather forecast for your travel route. Summer storms can lead to dangerous road conditions.

Safety belts
Make sure all passengers are wearing their seat belts during the entire journey. Seat belts save lives and significantly reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident, including a bus rollover.

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