In 2007, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance established the Operation Safe Driver Program in an effort to cut down on highway accidents, injuries and deaths. As part of this program, it hosts a nationwide event called Operation Safe Driver Week once a year. Drivers in Connecticut should know that this year, the event will be held between July 15 and 21.
The CVSA, along with enforcement officials across the nation, will be monitoring the roads for signs of unsafe driving behavior, which is the leading cause of crashes according to a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Such behavior, the study found, plays a role in 93 percent of large truck crashes as well as 88 percent of accidents that involve smaller passenger vehicles.
Those who are caught engaging in unsafe behaviors, such as improper lane changes and texting while driving, will be cited or warned. Last year's event resulted in nearly 39,000 citations and warnings for commercial truck drivers. The majority of them had committed moving violations; for example, they failed to wear a seat belt, exceeded the speed limit, followed too closely to other vehicles and distracted themselves with a cellphone. Eighteen drivers were cited, and 86 drivers were warned, for driving while drowsy or ill.
When truck accidents arise through drowsy driving or some other form of negligence, the victims may file a claim against the guilty party's trucking company. Trucking companies are often aggressive in denying payment to victims, which is why legal representation may be crucial. Victims may leave it to their lawyer and his or her network of professionals to strengthen the case with evidence like the police report and work log data. The lawyer may then negotiate for an informal settlement or take the case straight to court. A successful claim might cover medical expenses, lost wages and more.