The Top Safety Violations From Operation Safe Driver Week
Operation Safe Driver Week is a safe driving awareness initiative held in July by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). It is aimed at improving driving behaviors through traffic enforcement strategies and interaction with law enforcement. Speeding was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. More than 28,000 commercial vehicles were pulled over from July 11 through July 17, 2021. Law enforcement officers in the U.S. issued 4,420 warnings and 3,158 citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers, as reported in the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ).
For What Violations Were Commercial Drivers Cited?
Semi tractor-trailer and other commercial vehicle drivers received warnings and citations for a range of violations, including:
- Speeding (1,690 citations, 2,549 warnings)
- Failure to use a seat belt (1,225 citations, 954 warnings)
- Disregarding traffic control devices
- Distracted driving – texting or using a handheld phone
- Improper lane changes
- Following too closely
- State/local driver violations – a combined category including equipment violations (4,007 citations, 6,631 warnings)
How Do Commercial Trucks and Their Drivers Cause Accidents?
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study was conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to examine the causes of serious crashes involving large commercial trucks. Researchers isolated the top 10 factors associated with large trucks and their drivers that contributed to collisions, as stated in the Analysis Brief published by FMCSA. Those top ten associated factors are:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (traffic congestion or a previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before a crash (crosswalk, traffic control device)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
- Driver fatigue
What Are the Responsibilities of Commercial Truck Drivers On the Road?
All drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care on the road to protect their own safety and the safety of others. As commercial truck drivers operate massive, heavy equipment that could potentially cause extreme harm to others, they are held to a higher standard than drivers of passenger vehicles. Dangerous driving behavior, such as speeding, texting while driving, or following too closely is even more dangerous when the driver is behind the wheel of a fully-loaded tractor trailer weighing 80,000 lbs. or more.
In cases of inclement weather and hazardous conditions, the standard of care for truck drivers increases, pursuant to Section 392.14. Commercial drivers are required to exercise extreme caution when snow, sleet, ice, rain, mist, dust, smoke or other factors affect traction or visibility. They are required to reduce their speed, or stop the truck if conditions become sufficiently dangerous. Commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to comply with all federal, state, and local regulations while operating a big rig.
What Should You Do After a Serious Trucking Accident?
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a large commercial truck, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accidents are complex cases involving federal regulations and multiple potentially liable parties.
Our Dallas personal injury attorneys could act quickly to investigate your accident and obtain and preserve evidence to support your claim. We could determine fault and liability, build a convincing case based on the facts, and assess the full extent of your damages. We can negotiate skillfully with the other side on your behalf, but we will not hesitate to fight for your rights in trial, if necessary.
Call Lenahan Law, P.L.L.C. at (214) 295-1008 to schedule a consultation after a serious trucking accident. We can explain your options under the law.