Around 5,000 in passenger vehicles die every year due to accidents involving semi-trucks. The discrepancy in vehicle size is one of the reasons why these types of accidents tend to be deadlier than others.
Critics are rightly asking what both the Federal government and state governments are doing to combat the big increase in the number of deaths on the road caused by trucks.
Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C., a law firm named one of the best workplaces in America, see here, says that action is already being taken, but there’s still a long way to go.
Reducing Speed on the Roads
One in four semi-truck accidents is caused by the truck moving too quickly. Speed related accidents are a particular problem in the US.
States are already working to manage traffic speed by posting clearer speed limits and installing speed bumps in highly urbanized areas. They’re also issuing education programs for truck drivers to ensure they’re more aware of their speeds.
Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C. welcome these changes as many areas simply don’t have adequate controls in place to prevent high speeds. According to dsslaw.com, a collision with a large truck or tractor-trailer is often fatal, with most deaths occurring not to the drivers but those in passenger vehicles.
Tackling Prescription Drug Use in Drivers
Many semi-truck drivers operate for long hours. This practice has been criticized by road safety advocates as increasing the likelihood of drug and alcohol abuse.
The statistics show a prediction of more than one in four accidents involves prescription drug use.
Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C. are calling upon companies to be more aware of their drivers and any prescription drugs they may be using.
It should also be demanded that truck drivers are held accountable. As it stands, a truck driver can simply move to another state and work for another company, who may not be aware of their history regarding prescription drug abuse.
Tougher Punishments for Offenders
Road safety experts also believe that tougher punishments should be handed down for truck drivers. The fact that trucks can be so deadly mean that breaches of road safety laws should be looked upon less favorably than for passenger vehicle drivers.
These punishments should be paired with more effective education programs to illustrate the risks and the dangers associated with driving a semi-truck. Right now, many critics say, there’s not enough emphasis placed on cautious driving.
Is Enough Being Done?
Sadly, legal and medical experts agree on one thing: not enough is being done to reduce the number of semi-truck accidents on the roads of the US. A booming economy and cheap fuel are just two of the reasons why the number of vehicles has increased in the last ten years.
This has, naturally, led to more accidents than ever. Individual states and Congress need to act fast as the number of injuries and deaths is increasing.
What can be fixed to reduce semi-trucks accidents in the United States?
When we say improving conditions, one of the first things we actually mean is a problem that directly affects drivers, and that is fatigue. No one can work without a break, not even semi-truck drivers. However, although everyone knows this, a large number of traffic accidents occur precisely because of fatigue.
As is well known, semi-truck drivers usually drive at night. This means that their time, which is naturally intended for sleeping and rest, has actually been replaced by work obligations. That is all right, but in such conditions, every driver should have more time to rest. For example, if travel duration is 10 hours, 2 hours should be added for sleeping.
Just imagine driving thousands of miles in just one day. And add to that fact that driving is often monotonous and boring. In the end, after all those miles, it makes sense that fatigue occurs. As a result of the monotony of travel, high mileage and fatigue, there is a very high probability that some accident will happen which can probably be avoided with just a few hours more for rest.
A combination of technology and training
Another thing that can be fixed is better driver training as well as greater use of technology than it is the case right now. First of all, inexperienced drivers should not be required to drive long distances. It’s a job for more experienced drivers. Inexperienced ones should drive locally, or to some towns not too far away. Also, the problem can be navigating in the city, especially if it is a remote city and completely unknown to the driver. These problems can be solved with the help of training, as well as with the greater use of technology.
Speaking of technology, there is no doubt that the new vehicles (especially passenger vehicles) are largely equipped with various gadgets that allow a safer and more comfortable ride. First of all, we mean lane departure warnings, blind spot warning, lane change alerts, but also various other warnings and buzzers that would allow the driver to be significantly safer and aware, both for himself and for other road users.
In addition, we must mention and especially emphasize hands-free technology in the case of phone calls. The use of this technology can significantly allow the driver to stay focused on driving and with his or her hands on the steering wheel while making the necessary call.
These are just certain examples, and certainly the technology has a wide application in semi-trucks. Of course, training is also an essential thing in acquiring skills. The combination of these two can change a lot in terms of accidents involving semi-trucks. Percentages and security can be significantly improved in a better direction.
If nothing is done, thousands of more innocent people are at risk in the coming years.
Are truck accidents a problem in your area?