Truck drivers travel many more miles per year than the average motorist. This is perhaps why tire blowouts are much more likely to happen to tractor-trailer operators more so than any other type of driver.
Trucking companies have been warning of an impending problem for years. Veteran truck operators are retiring, and there are too few younger drivers looking to fill their spots. This has resulted in recruiters becoming less selective when making hiring decisions. Many of the truckers that they do hire lack experience. This concerns many traffic safety analysts.
Data published recently by the trucking trade publication FreightWaves captures how only four percent of all Americans suffer from sleep apnea (SA). It shows how an alarming 35% of truckers suffer from the same condition though. This sleep disorder affects the quality of an individual's rest and makes them vulnerable to develop heart disease and other related conditions. It's dangerous enough out on the road without motorists being fatigued or unhealthy. This is why the fact that at least one-third of truckers are unwell is so alarming.
Data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its affiliated agencies shows that truckers, on average, have viewer accidents per 100 million miles driven by any type of motorist. Even still, the number of deaths that result from these truck-involved crashes is significantly higher than the fatalities that result from any other type of motor vehicle accident.
If you've ever happened to see underride collision involving a passenger car and a semi-truck, then it's unlikely that you'd forget it. They're one of the scariest types of crashes that you can see out on the road. According to Crash Forensics, at least 25% of fatal truck-involved collisions result from under riding types of incidents. Crashes of this sort can be avoided.
On June 6, the Texas Transportation Commission (TCC) announced their plans for reducing fatal roadway crashes across the state to zero by 2050. They noted that their initial goal is to reduce these deadly crashes by at least half what they currently are by 2035.
Although it goes against U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations to do so, many Texas truckers take their chances and drive with unsecured loads all the time. This doesn't only pose an enormous danger to themselves but also anyone that they share the road with here in Houston.
It doesn't matter where you live, whether it's Katy, Missouri City, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Baytown, Pearland or Pasadena, traffic is heavy in virtually every part of Houston. Truckers pass through the city as they head to or from the port of Galveston hauling goods. While tractor-trailers play an integral role in the city's economy, they present a safety hazard to many of the city's residents and visitors.
An uptick in fatal truck crash rates in recent years may attributable to tractor-trailer operators rushing to take a rest break so that they don't violate Department of Transportation regulations. The federal hours-of-service rule requires truckers to take a 30-minute break after driving eight hours and restricts them from driving in excess of 11 hours per each 14-hour period.
Tractor-trailers are critical to getting products to the market in the United States. While any time you see a big rig crash, it seems catastrophic, the industry as a whole has gotten a lot safer in the past years than it was a little more than a decade ago.