New U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Hours of Service regulations go into effect on Sept. 29. The revision to these rules, which dictate how truckers may lawfully operate their tractor-trailers, will affect how long driving shifts can last and how drivers can take breaks. Federal regulators first imposed these rules as a potential way to reduce truck accidents. Only time will tell how this latest loosening of regulations will impact crash rates.
Construction zones can be dangerous for drivers under the best of circumstances. However, when careless truckers enter the mix, construction areas can become deadly.
An Oklahoma-based transportation company, Groendyke Transport, Inc., spent the last few years exploring ways to reduce tanker-truck incident rates. One idea that they came up with was equipping their trucks with relatively inexpensive flashing amber-colored strobe lights. Their fleet's crash rate went down significantly after they did this. The transportation company chronicled their in-house research in a Fleet Owner article on June 1.Company owners have long been disappointed at their crash rates and wanted to find ways to reduce them. They started installing strobe lights on the rear portion of their tanker trucks approximately three years ago. They hoped that this would reduce the number of rear-end crashes that their drivers were having.
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.