Ohio motorists should be aware of the possibility of tractor-trailer accidents when traveling on local highways. That's because statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that the number of deadly truck crashes has increased in recent years. In fact, there was a 10% increase in the number of fatal large truck crashes between 2016 and 2017.
While most large truck accidents in Ohio are caused by the negligence of passenger vehicle drivers, not of truckers, there are still instances when truckers commit an error and cause a crash. Truckers may, for example, drive while drowsy, drunk, drugged or distracted by their phone. Driver error is just one of five common causes of large truck crashes.
In Ohio and across the U.S., many commercial truckers are driving while under the influence of drugs, especially cocaine, opioids and marijuana. The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security has compiled data on drug tests results in the trucking industry and found that the mandatory urinanalysis is not enough to detect drug use. In fact, it captures only 1 in 10 habitual drug users.
The National Safety Council estimates that distracted driving crashes in the US cause nine deaths and 100 injuries every day. Ohio residents should know that many of these crashes are the result of drivers using phones and in-vehicle tech like voice command and dashboard touchscreens. To raise awareness of this trend, the NSC chose April to be Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Truck accident victims in Ohio should be aware that preparing a case against the other side can be a complicated matter: more complicated, in fact, than building up a car accident case. There are several reasons for this. Trucks are large, take longer to brake to a complete stop and thus collide with greater force. The catastrophic injuries and fatalities that are so frequently the outcome of truck accidents make a case more complex.
Ohio residents should know that 2017 saw a 29-year high in the number of large truck crash fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The total came to 4,761 deaths with around 1,300 being the truckers themselves. This means that the remaining 72% were the passengers of other vehicles.
While many assume that there is a link between truck driver fatigue and the number of hours that they drive, this isn't the only factor that should be considered. In addition to complying with hours-of-service rules, it may also benefit Ohio drivers and others to receive fatigue management training. Drivers who know that they are tired are more likely to take steps such as requesting shorter trips or taking a quick nap during the day.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is known for its annual inspection sprees of commercial vehicles, but it also hosts an annual Operation Safe Driver Week event that affects both CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers. Ohio residents should know that this year's will take place from July 14 to 20.
Ohio drivers have good reason to be wary around large trucks because truck crashes are on the rise. Of the 34,439 fatal crashes that occurred across the U.S. in 2017, 4,079 involved at least one truck or bus according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
From collision mitigation systems to in-cab cameras, a host of safety devices are being introduced in commercial trucks across Ohio and the rest of the US. Yet many truckers, unhappy about the change, are finding ways to manipulate or disable the technology.