The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance understands that increasing traffic law enforcement is one way of reducing car crashes in Kentucky and across the U.S. For this reason, the CVSA designates one week out of every year as Operation Safe Driver Week; during this period, law enforcement personnel track for unsafe driving behaviors and issue warnings and citations.
Truck drivers in Kentucky often drive for long hours over dark and monotonous stretches of highway. While operator fatigue may seem to be a natural result of the job, it can also be a cause of severe and even deadly trucking crashes. Fatigued truckers are responsible for massive semi-trucks with substantial size, weight and volume. These big rigs can cause a lot of damage when accidents happen. While trucking is critical to many industries, experts continue to raise concerns that the schedules maintained by the industry may not be sufficiently limited to protect safety.
Large truck crashes are leading to more deaths in Kentucky and elsewhere in the country. In 2017, there were 4,102 large truck crash fatalities: 28 percent more than in 2009. Of those, 68 percent were car occupants, and 14 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Incidents where large trucks rear-end cars are especially frequent as well as severe in terms of injuries and damage.
At the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, an officer from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration discussed some very disappointing news about the rate of fatal accidents involving trucks on roads in Kentucky and throughout the nation. From the years 2015 to 2017, large-truck-occupant deaths increased as did the percentage of all fatal crashes involving at least one large truck. While many factors contribute to this problem, lowering the rates of fatalities may ultimately be in the truck driver's hand.
Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issues its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements with the hopes of influencing national transportation policy. These recommendations cover a variety of transportation safety issues that affect drivers in Kentucky and nationwide. The recently released 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements includes 10 items, six of which relate to the trucking industry.
Federal vehicle crash data analyzed by safety group Road Safe America show an unsettling trend in Kentucky and across the United States: a sharp increase in tractor-trailer related fatal accidents since 2009.
When couples in Kentucky consider divorce, handling the division of real estate can be one of the more complex aspects of property separation. It's always difficult to divide assets during a divorce, and real estate can't be neatly split in half. Many separating couples choose to sell the home, pay off any remaining mortgage and divide the proceeds to invest into new accommodations. However, some individuals develop a strong emotional tie to the marital home, especially if children are involved.
Kentucky motorists with early warning systems on their vehicles know that such technology can be a great way to prevent accidents. These systems will warn drivers of lane departure issues, monitor blind spots and even apply the brakes automatically in an emergency. Unfortunately, the technology has not caught on with everyone in the commercial trucking industry. But many safety advocates now believe it is time to make early warning systems mandatory in over-the-road trucks.
While most truck drivers in Kentucky are safe, some are failing to keep their vehicles in good working condition. Because of this failure, they are risking their lives and the lives of people who share the road with them.
Traffic deaths in Kentucky and around the country have risen alarmingly in recent years despite improved road layouts and more sophisticated automobile safety systems, and many safety advocates say that the prolific use of cellphones by motorists and an ensuing surge in distracted driving is chiefly responsible. Distracted drivers rarely take evasive action before crashing, which makes this behavior especially dangerous when heavy commercial vehicles are involved that can be difficult to control even with an alert driver behind the wheel.