There are several obvious and not-so-obvious differences between truck crashes and car accidents that Ohio residents should keep in mind. The severity of vehicle damage and injuries is the first. The weight of commercial trucks causes a greater impact, leaving most passenger vehicles undrivable. Occupants of the latter may be left with head trauma and spine injuries and may require rehabilitative care and short- or long-term disability leave.
Ohio drivers may be concerned to learn that serious crashes involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks are on the rise. Meanwhile, a spike in fleet and vehicle insurance premiums has failed to reverse the trend.
About 70 percent of the goods purchased in Ohio and around the country each year are transported by more than 15 million large commercial vehicles. This is a worrying statistic for road safety advocates because truck accidents have risen by 20 percent in just the last 10 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration analyzed traffic accident data to understand better what was responsible for this worrying increase, and they discovered that most semi-tractor trailer accidents were caused by truck drivers.
Many people in Ohio fear motor vehicle accidents involving trucks, and they have good reason. Truck crashes are far more likely to be fatal to the occupants of smaller passenger cars. Safety advocates are seeking to reduce the number of fatalities caused by these crashes by urging passage of legislation to tighten regulations for trucks and require additional safety gear to be installed. The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 focuses on the risk of underride crashes when cars or other small vehicles slide underneath a large commercial truck. These crashes are often fatal and can lead to severe head and neck injuries or even decapitations.
Drivers in Ohio frequently find themselves sharing the road with commercial trucks. It's important to realize that truckers face a unique set of challenges. Even after specialized training and on-the-job instruction, they are still at a high risk for accidents. The following are just some of the most common safety concerns among commercial truckers.
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.
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.
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.
Andy 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.
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.