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Westlake Trucking Accidents Blog

Truck safety technology rapidly improving

Large trucks operating on Ohio roadways have seen significant safety improvements in recent years thanks to new technologies. According to Penske Logistics' vice president of safety logistics, the amount of new safety technology to arrive on the market in the last decade is overwhelming. Some of the developments are simple, like emergency braking and backup alarms, he said, and the use of video monitoring systems has led to higher safety scores and lower total incident numbers.

Video monitoring technology has been employed by both Penske Logistics and truck manufacturer Mack Trucks to better driving training and identify maintenance and safety issues. Penske Logistics makes use of cameras facing into the cab and out onto the road. The cameras, from SmartDrive, are event-triggered, meaning they record when risk events occur. The term risk event includes near-collisions, hard-braking incidents and other situations. The Penske vice president said video is a strong training tool for drivers because they can learn from the risk events of others as well as their own.

Motorists can improve safety by understanding trucks

When Ohio drivers hit the road, they share the pavement with all manner of other vehicles. They also potentially put themselves in harm's way through no fault of their own. Every other vehicle is driven by someone with a particular set of experiences and mental distractions that could create danger for other occupants of the roadway. This is especially true when contemplating sharing space with an 80,000-pound transport truck. Because of the sheer size of semi-trucks, they present dangers that are not inherent to passenger vehicles. For the same reasons, they require special training and licensing to drive.

Before cutting in front of a 40-ton tractor trailer, drivers should be aware of the truck's safe stopping distance. A fully loaded truck at highway speed operating on dry pavement can require the lengths of two football fields to stop. With wet roads or worn tires, the distance can be much further. Although truckers are trained to keep a safe stopping distance between themselves and other motorists, it is often impossible because smaller vehicles dart in front of them, eliminating the cushion of safety.

Truck accident fatality surge promts calls for HOS revisions

Truck drivers in Ohio and around the country rushing to complete their journeys before a 30-minute rest break becomes mandatory are contributing to a worrying rise in commercial vehicle accident fatalities according to several industry groups. The break is required by federal hours of service rules that are designed to prevent fatigue and drowsy driving crashes, but many truck drivers say that they encourage them to exceed posted speed limits and place other road users in danger.

While overall traffic accident fatalities fell slightly in 2017, the number of road users killed in crashes involving semi-tractor trailers rose by a sobering 9 percent to 4,761. This is the largest truck accidents death toll in almost three decades according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, claims that this increase may be partly caused by hours of service rules seem tenuous. While the number of deadly commercial vehicle accidents has increased in recent years, the number of tractor-trailer crashes blamed on excessive speed has actually fallen.

Truck Crash Attorney Andy Young Educates Texas Attorneys About Truck Side Underride Car Crashes

Thumbnail image for truck.pngAndy Young, the founding partner of Young & McCarthy LLP, of Cleveland, Ohio was invited to be the keynote speaker on November 16, 2018, at the Texas State Bar's truck accident legal education program being presented to more than two hundred Texas attorneys. His speaking topic is the safety and litigation aspects of a special type of car accident in which a car and truck collide and the car ends up underneath the side of the truck or trailer.

Truck accidents cause catastrophic injuries

Getting into an accident with a large truck is terrifying and the crash can have devastating results.

Truck accidents have a high fatality rate, especially for the individuals in the passenger car. One in ten accidents that occur on the highway are due to large truck accidents. However, when the accident does not result in fatality, catastrophic injuries are especially common.

CVSA sidelines nearly 5,000 trucks during 2018 Brake Safety Week

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has released the results of its 2018 Brake Safety Week, which took place from Sept. 16 to 22. Some truckers in Ohio may remember it because they were pulled over for random inspections as were truckers across the rest of the U.S. and in Canada. In all, 35,080 commercial vehicles underwent inspections to ensure compliance with brake safety guidelines.

Of those, 4,955 were placed out of service for brakes violations. This amounts to 14.1 percent of the inspected vehicles. The CVSA's 2017 Brake Safety Day saw a similar percentage of 14 percent although the total number of vehicles inspected over that day was fewer.

Truck accidents are on the rise

Large tractor-trailer trucks are a common sight on Ohio highways and across the nation as they play a key role in promoting commerce and the delivery of goods. With a vigorous economy, more and more trucks are racking up miles every day. Safety is always an issue with the trucking industry both as a product of the amount of time a trucker is behind the wheel and the public's interest in driving without fear of accidents.

Unfortunately, although vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities overall have gone down, those involving trucks have seen an increase, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. While part of the increase is likely due to increased volume of truck traffic, that alone does not account for the numbers. Even as all traffic deaths are down approximately 2 percent, large truck fatalities are up over 15 percent.

How to reduce distracted driving among truck drivers

Commercial truck drivers are paid to pay attention to the road and operate their vehicles in a safe manner. However, just like non-professional drivers, truckers are prone to engage in distracted driving behaviors like texting and driving.

A recent AAA study found that distracted driving is now the biggest threat on U.S. roads. It also found that Americans are increasingly concerned about the problem. Specifically, it found that 88 percent of people surveyed thought that distracted driving was on the rise. In comparison, only 45 percent of survey participants were similarly concerned about drunk driving, only 33 percent were worried about drugged driving, and only 20 percent thought aggressive driving was a major problem.

Fatigue, distracted driving may lead to large truck crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that up to 100,000 crashes each year involve driver fatigue. Among commercial vehicles, 28 percent of single-vehicle accidents and 13 percent of fatal large truck crashes involve driver fatigue, according to the National Safety Council. Drivers on roads in Ohio should be aware of the risks of driving while tired and be wary around large trucks.

Commercial drivers are often required to travel long distances at a time over monotonous roadways, which can make them especially vulnerable to driver fatigue. There are a number of companies developing or offering products to combat micro sleep by truck drivers. Micro sleep occurs when drivers lapse in brief sleeps that can last as long as 15 seconds.

What you need to know about large trucks in the winter

It is almost impossible to drive down the highway and not see a large truck or semi. Most people know that sharing the road with semis can prove dangerous on a normal day. What about in the snow?

A U.S. Department of Transportation report shows that snow significantly increases the chances of an accident with a large truck or bus. What are the biggest hazards about sharing the road with a big rig while it is snowing? What tips can you use to help you stay safe in the upcoming winter weather?

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