The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that the number of U.S. fatalities in 2017 involving large trucks, or trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, rose by 9 percent. Connecticut motorists may be interested to learn that for the same time period, the total number of motor vehicle traffic deaths fell by 1.8 percent.
In the state of Connecticut and elsewhere in the United States, distracted driving is a serious problem that can lead to injuries or fatalities if a crash occurs. This particular problem can be difficult to combat as vehicle technology and smartphones make it very easy to become distracted. However, there are tools that can be used to combat distracted driving in fleet vehicles.
Connecticut residents and others who are involved in truck accidents could sustain a variety of injuries. For instance, broken bones are not uncommon when the body makes impact with a windshield, steering wheel or other object inside of the vehicle. Arm, leg and hip bones are among the most likely to fracture in a truck accident. Spinal injuries are also common occurrences among those who are injured in accidents involving large trucks.
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.
Commercial truckers carry roughly 70 percent of the nation's cargo. Considering the prevalence of this mode of freight transportation, it's important to ensure that truckers drive safely. Unfortunately, with the average trucker putting in as much as 70 hours across an eight-day workweek, driver fatigue remains a major safety issue. An estimated 100,000 truck crashes occur every year because of fatigue.
A major road safety organization is launching an ambitious plan to make the highways of New London, Connecticut and the rest of the nation safer. The goal is lofty but in the nation's best interest. Simply put, the organization seeks to bring the number of highway accident deaths to zero within 32 years.
Connecticut readers may be interested in learning that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is appealing the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to dismiss its sleep apnea lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It alleges that the agency implemented an illegal change to the sleep apnea screening procedures for truck drivers.
Sharing a roadway with excessively tired tractor-trailer drivers can be a frightening thought for many Connecticut drivers. Because of the weight and mass of large trucks and buses, accidents involving these vehicles can be deadly or cause serious personal injuries. Despite the risks to roadway safety posed by drowsy drivers piloting massive trucks, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is seeking to make changes to truck drivers' regulations for hours of work in order to make them more flexible.
More than 2 million tractor-trailers travel U.S. roadways, and sharing the road with vehicles that can weigh as much as 40 tons can be unnerving for motorists in Connecticut and around the country. Collisions with large and heavy commercial vehicles tend to end badly for passenger vehicle occupants, but remaining vigilant and eschewing ill-advised maneuvers can help drivers to avoid accidents and allow them to reach their destinations unharmed.
More than 1,700 Kenworth and Peterbilt tractor-trailers are subject to a recall due to a fuel pump problem. Some of these trucks may be on the road in Connecticut, and their drivers and owners should be aware of the situation.