Commercials, television shows and movies often show drivers going too fast for road conditions or otherwise driving dangerously. Of course, most viewers in Wyoming and throughout the nation understand that these are controlled stunts performed by trained professionals. Despite this, there is still a tendency among commercial drivers and others to engage in risky behaviors while operating their vehicles. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), speeding is one of the most common reasons why large trucks are involved in accidents.
Commercial truckers in Wyoming and the rest of the U.S. are required to keep well-maintained vehicles. Federal regulations exist to ensure that truck components do not malfunction and become the indirect cause of an accident. As part of Operation Airbrake Program, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds a brake inspection spree every year called Brake Safety Week. The goal is to enforce regulations and reduce accident numbers.
There were 34,439 deadly car crashes in Wyoming and the rest of the U.S. in 2017, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of those, 4,079 involved at least one large truck or bus. Truck crashes have been on the rise with Florida seeing a jump from 23,515 crashes in 2014 to 32,513 in 2018, and the number one driver-related factor in these crashes, according to the Florida DoT, is speeding.
Drivers in Wyoming will want to know about a chain-reaction accident that occurred in Florida because it shows how dangerous semi-trucks can be. While Florida Highway Patrol has only produced a preliminary accident report, they believe that the cause of the accident lies with the 59-year-old driver of a semi-truck. Apparently, the truck, as it was going north on I-75 near Gainesville, moved left from the right lane and collided with a 2007 Honda sedan.
Many truckers in Wyoming and across the U.S. are getting into accidents through their own negligence. Experts say there is a multi-industry problem with poor habits such as distracted driving, drowsy driving and speeding. Many truckers feel urged to drive negligently because of the by-the-load incentives that they receive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that large-truck fatalities in the U.S. went up 9 percent from 4,369 in 2016 to 4,761 in 2017. About 1,300 of these were truckers while the rest were occupants of the other vehicle. Truckers and truck fleet owners in Wyoming should know that some are attributing this increase to conflicts with current hours-of-service rules.
Overall, the roads throughout Wyoming and the rest of the country are becoming safer. However, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests fatalities involving large trucks are on the rise. According to NHTSA figures, vehicle traffic fatalities decreased by nearly 2 percent in 2017. Fatal collisions with larger vehicles, on the other hand, spiked by nearly 10 percent over the prior year.
In August 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed some changes to the hours-of-service rules for commercial truck drivers. Truckers and employers in Wyoming should know that the FMCSA is welcoming comments on these proposals. It is conducting public listening sessions at various locations as well.
Distracted driving accidents are some of the most severe in terms of injuries to passengers and damage to vehicles. Furthermore, distracted driving burdens trucking companies and other fleets with the delays that arise when employees are pulled over or undergo roadside inspections. That's why various companies have developed new tech that can help detect when drivers are distracted.
Commercial truck drivers in Wyoming and the rest of the country should make sure that they are able to get enough sleep before getting on the road. Drowsy driving is believed to result in at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year in the United States, and due to their substantial weight and size, the most dangerous vehicles that can be involved in these accidents are big rigs.