Semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles crisscross our nation's roads and highways as they transport goods across America. While they are a necessary part of commerce in our nation, it is important to note that they do present a danger to other drivers on the road.
Semi-trucks are an important part of interstate commerce in our nation, but it is not unusual for truck drivers to take risks while on the road. For example, truckers in Pennsylvania may be financially incentivized to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible.
When it comes to trucks entering the roadway, there are all sizes and types of commercial trucks. Some hauling freight, some hauling livestock, others hauling equipment or goods. Whatever the need, most things are hauled on trucks at some point in their supply chain. Some companies do hauling in-house, while others outsource to 3rd party businesses that will do the shipping and receiving for them.
This blog has often noted the potential dangers posed to other vehicles by large trucks. Because commercial trucks are so large and heavy, any collision between a truck and a passenger car can be devastating for occupants of the smaller vehicle. However, large trucks can sometimes pose other dangers as well.
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.