Trucking has been a critical part of American transportation for decades. In the last decade, however, there has been a sharp increase in the number of truck-related fatalities and accidents.
In 2019, 4,119 people lost their lives in vehicle accidents. The drivers or occupants of regular, non-commercial cars made up 67% of those fatalities. Motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians combined comprised 15% more. The remaining 16% were occupants and drivers of trucks.
Texas leads nation in truck accident fatalities. In a recent year, there 649 commercial motor vehicle fatalities in Texas. hat’s 272 more deaths than the second leading state.
A fully loaded big rig weighs about 80,000 pounds. When a truck crashes into a regular passenger vehicle, the accident is a lot more likely to kill or injure the people traveling in the car than the truck driver.
When a jackknife accident happens on the highway, it causes a major disruption in traffic because several lanes are likely to be blocked by the truck’s cab and trailer. This can result in a major pileup with several cars crashing into each other.
A jackknife accident can be a harrowing experience for you and your passengers. There’s more than one way a jackknife accident can occur, and it may be difficult to determine whose negligence is responsible for your accident.
The federal government has loosened restrictions on teenage truck drivers to address the driver shortage and supply chain issues arising from the pandemic. A pilot program proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will allow drivers ages 18 and older to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen a surge in fatal trucking accidents, with crash rates increasing throughout the pandemic. Motor vehicle accidents and fatalities were expected to decrease when COVID-19 dramatically reduced traffic. However, traffic deaths increased while vehicle miles traveled dropped.
This is particularly true of large commercial truck accidents in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The 12 counties that make up the metroplex experienced 78 fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2019, 90 in 2020, and 92 in 2021.
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).
High-powered semi-trucks are complex machines that utilize a variety of parts, devices, and components to transport thousands of pounds of cargo across the country. If one part is defective, it can jeopardize the entire operation and result in a catastrophic crash, ranging from hitch failures to brake failures. These cases require an in-depth investigation to determine how a truck’s parts failed and who is responsible for it.
The trucking industry often touts how easy it is to start driving commercially while also bragging about how experienced its drivers are. The truth is that truck drivers must complete several government-mandated tests, screenings, and background checks before they get behind the wheel of a big rig. Even then, drivers must agree to regular and random testing throughout their career to ensure they are fully qualified to haul cargo.
Truck driving is a dangerous enough profession. It requires special training to operate a massive vehicle while surrounded by other drivers and passengers. Because of the effort it takes to steer and smoothly operate an 18-wheeler, it is imperative that every truck driver stay fully alert out on the road.
A driverless truck may sound like far-flung technology from a science fiction book, but this new stage in transportation is already here. In fact, the very first test of a self-driving truck took place in 2016 by Uber.
Since then, more and more companies have decided to try their hand at making a road-ready self-driving truck. Most of these inventions aren’t ready for the real road yet, but that hasn’t stopped these companies from testing them on our Texas highways, putting our people at extreme risk.