Driving a large truck is a special responsibility since the greater weight and mass of a commercial truck can cause a devastating auto accident. You may wonder if trucking companies have made headway in diminishing the number of fatal truck crashes that occur on American roads. Unfortunately, truck accidents remain a persistent problem.
According to Transport Topics, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a forum on March 10 that discussed recent trends in fatal truck crashes, using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those involved in the forum found the trends concerning, including the increasing number of fatal truck crashes.
Factors in fatal crashes
According to the article, slightly more than two-thirds of truck collisions that resulted in fatalities actually did not involve contributing factors from the truck drivers. Still, about a third of crashes did involve troubling behaviors on the part of some truckers. These included the following:
- Phone texting
- Driving at unsafe speeds
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Failing to wear occupant restraints
Even if these variables did not factor into a majority of fatal truck collisions, the NHTSA numbers have discovered an overall increase in the number of fatal big truck crashes, including accidents that resulted in the deaths of pedestrians.
Investigations remained constant
Holding truck drivers and the companies that employ them accountable is an important part of decreasing the trend of fatal truck accidents. The article did reveal some encouraging news. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of FMCSA investigations of truck carriers remained steady. These investigations of noncompliance with federal regulations may help the FMCSA refine their enforcement techniques and lead to improved truck safety.
The danger from a heavy truck remains something drivers should be cautious about. Exercise proper safety when you approach a commercial truck so you do not become the victim of a truck driver’s irresponsible behavior.