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Ohio Trucking Accidents Blog

Bipartisan bill calls for more underride guards on trucks

Underride crashes, where a motor vehicle collides with a large truck and slides under it, are not uncommon in Ohio. They are some of the most severe of all large truck accidents, though, usually resulting in head and neck injuries. In many cases, occupants are decapitated. Vehicle safety features are normally rendered useless in such crashes and so cannot help. At least 300 people die in these crashes every year.

Federal law requires underride guards on the rear of large commercial trucks. However, this requirement may soon be extended to the sides and front. It all depends on whether or not a bill called the Stop Underrides Act is passed.

Truck safety groups urge Congress to end regulation delay

Commercial vehicle automatic emergency braking systems could prevent many big rig accidents in Ohio and around the country each year, but a regulation that would mandate their installation has been bogged down in Congress since 2006. Lawmakers have also failed to require trucking companies to switch on speed limiting devices that have been fitted to virtually all large trucks sold in America for decades.

Efforts to implement the proposed truck safety regulations have been stymied despite studies revealing how many lives they could potentially save. One such study, conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, suggests that speed-related crashes are about 200 percent more likely to occur when trucks do not have their speed limiters activated. Trade groups such as the American Trucking Associations support speed limiters providing that they are mandated for cars as well as trucks.

The most frequent truck accident injuries

In fatal collisions between motor vehicles and large trucks, 97 percent of the fatalities are occupants of the former. The following are just some of the most common truck accident injuries that Ohio residents might suffer if they happen to be motor vehicle occupants involved in a truck crash.

The impact of a truck crash can cause serious spinal cord injuries, which in turn can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. Victims may be left dealing with extensive medical bills, lifelong medical care and major life adjustments. Head injuries, ranging from small concussions to traumatic brain injuries, are also common. Severe TBIs, in particular, can result in death or mental complications.

How truckers can stem the tide of large truck crash deaths

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the percentage of fatal crashes in Ohio and across the U.S. that involved at least one large truck rose each year from 2015 to 2017, which was the latest year for which complete data was available). Large truck occupant fatalities also rose each year during that period.

From 2016 to 2017, there was a rise in the number of deadly large truck and/or bus accidents as well as in the number of fatalities. In addition, from 2015 to 2017, there was an increase in the percentage of deadly work zone accidents that involved one or more large trucks. In 2019, the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week is held from April 8 to 12, so truckers may wish to take that opportunity to see how they might avoid accidents.

NTSB proposes six steps for safer commercial trucking

Truck drivers in Ohio should know that some of the most desired transportation safety changes relate directly to the commercial trucking industry. Six out of the 10 items on the National Transportation Safety Board's 2019-2020 Most Wanted List are proposed improvements to this industry. Below is an outline of those six recommendations.

The NTSB desires the elimination of distracted driving first and foremost. It recommends that all states should ban the non-emergency use of handheld phones and all other portable electronic devices with the exception of navigation software. States should also have a driver distraction code on traffic accident investigation forms.

The importance of headlights in adverse driving conditions

Most of us relate the importance of headlights to being able to see while driving at night. However, your headlights are important for helping you see and be seen in other adverse driving conditions too.

Here are a few circumstances in which you should always keep your headlights on to improve safety for you and other drivers.

Speed limiters could reduce large truck crashes

Federal data shows an increase in large truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017. This surge comes despite the fact that commercial truckers traveled fewer and fewer miles as the eight-year period progressed. Road Safe America, a highway safety non-profit, is now encouraging using automatic emergency braking systems and speed limiters on commercial trucks in Ohio and across the U.S.

The non-profit shows that out of those states that saw the highest increase in truck crash deaths (Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania) and those states that saw the highest increase in truck crash death percentages (Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Nevada), most have a 70 mph speed limit. This is dangerous for large trucks, considering how they have a longer stopping distance than other vehicles.

Truck crash claims the life of 10-year-old girl

In the early morning hours of Jan. 25, a pre-teen Ohio girl was killed in a car accident involving a tractor-trailer truck in Mentor. Two other people were seriously injured in the accident.

According to local media reports, authorities received reports of a two-vehicle crash on westbound Interstate 90 between State Route 306 and State Route 615 shortly after midnight. Responding rescue crews found that a tractor-trailer truck had struck a 2008 Chevrolet, forcing the passenger vehicle down an embankment.

FMCSA study shows CMV fatalities rose in 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has some data out on commercial motor vehicle fatalities in 2017 that should be of interest to drivers in Ohio. Among other matters, the FMCSA noted an increase in CMV crash fatalities from 3,193 in 2009 to 5,005 in 2017. Ohio saw a 1.2 percent increase, though that is not as dramatic as the increase in Florida (27 percent) or Georgia (19.7 percent).

Of those fatalities, 717 were CMV drivers and 124 were passengers of CMVs. This means that the remaining 4,164 fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles. The greatest factor in these fatal crashes, according to the FMCSA, was the failure to wear a seat belt. Of the truckers who were killed, 322 were found not to be wearing their seat belts.

What you should do when a semitruck is turning to stay safe

It’s easy for anyone to tell that turning is one of the more difficult maneuvers to make while operating a big rig. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for those driving passenger a vehicle to get a little nervous while turning alongside a semi-truck.

If you fret at these turns, here are a few tips to help you avoid an accident.

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