We're all familiar with the 18-wheeler hauling cargo down a major freeway. Since they are so commonplace, the average person may become desensitized to their potential danger. However, that false sense of security can come to a screeching end when a person or a loved one is involved in a truck accident and suffers serious injuries. The truth is, commercial trucks can have a life-changing impact if a person is involved in a truck accident.
A Butler driver who chooses to use a handheld device while operating their automobile can face serious penalties if they are caught in the act. However, this may a minor problem for them compared to the serious damage they can inflict on others if their texting and driving causes a vehicle accident. Like regular drivers, commercial drivers like truckers are also banned from using handheld devices while driving their rigs because the practice is unsafe.
In order to drive a tractor-trailer safely on Pennsylvania's busy streets and highways, you need skill, patience, an understanding of traffic laws and a relentless focus on the vehicles around you. Those who manage to drive a big rig safely for years deserve recognition for their dedication to hauling goods without causing a truck accident that results in injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's hours of service regulations are designed to prevent accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers and protect motorists in Pennsylvania and around the country. The current rules were put into place in 2013, but they have been widely criticized by trade groups including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. According to the OOIDA, the present 14-hour regulation compels drivers to remain behind the wheel even when they are tired and forces them onto the roads in poor weather and when traffic is at its heaviest.
More than 200 road users in Pennsylvania and around the country are killed each year when the passenger vehicles they are traveling in strike the side of a semi-tractor trailer. The National Transportation Safety Board urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate the fitting of side guards to all new tractor-trailers in 2014, but the recommendation was nonbinding and no regulation was introduced.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is taking a new look at driver fatigue and seeking input on the issue. Motor carrier businesses, organizations and operators in Pennsylvania are encouraged to submit their comments to the FMCSA.
Commercial truck drivers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country have many regulations to which they have to adhere. However, it is not unusual for truck drivers' drug arrests to be overlooked.
According to federal data, there were more than 400,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2015. Sadly, these crashes resulted in 116,000 injuries and 4,000 deaths. However, a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that advanced truck safety technologies could prevent over 77,000 truck accidents each year, which would save lives in Pennsylvania and across the U.S.
Travel stress around the holidays is pretty much a given. Planes, trains and automobiles across the country are filled with holiday travelers trying to get somewhere. Your gifts and goodies, ordered with that special two-day shipping, have to get somewhere, too. That means even more big trucks on the roads, which --combined with ice, snow and holiday hurrying -- can lead to some serious crashes.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has published a study linking poor truck driver health with a higher risk for accidents. The authors concluded that even minor medical conditions can add up to endanger truck drivers. This has raised some concerns for trucking companies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, especially regarding their medical screening processes.