Many Kentucky drivers may be concerned about the potential for serious injury after a collision with an 18-wheeler or commercial truck. These large vehicles are significantly heavier than the passenger vehicles they share the roads with. Therefore, they can be responsible for causing serious damage in case of an accident. When fatal collisions occur between large trucks and passenger vehicles, up to 97 percent of those deaths are passenger vehicle occupants.
Kentucky readers may be concerned to learn that, according to a new report, fatal large truck crashes are on the rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the report, which updates preliminary data issued in 2017.
For many drivers in Kentucky, the dangers presented by car and truck accidents are a real daily threat. In fact, over 100 people are killed each day on American roadways while many more are seriously injured. In 2016, 37,461 people lost their lives in traffic accidents. This represented an increase of 5.6 percent over the previous year and a reversal of a prior trend showing a decrease in deaths. A group called the Road to Zero Coalition is working to advocate for increased traffic safety and the elimination of deaths on America's roadways
Commercial truck drivers in Kentucky probably know about the International Roadcheck, an annual event set up by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance with the purpose of enforcing compliance with truck and bus safety guidelines. Over a 72-hour period, inspectors across the nation conduct an inspection spree on both truck and bus drivers, issuing out-of-service orders for any vehicle- or driver-related violations.
There are a number of factors that can lead to trucking accidents in Kentucky. Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous causes is truck driver fatigue. Drowsy driving is a major public safety concern for people behind the wheel of any vehicle, but it's especially troubling for those driving massive loads during lengthy shifts.
For many Kentucky drivers, the thought of an accident with a large tractor-trailer truck is one of the most frightening possibilities on the roadway. The mass and weight of these large trucks means that a crash involving them can be deadly or lead to severe personal injuries. As truck drivers spend lengthy shifts behind the wheel, often driving at highway speeds during late-night hours, the threat posed to highway safety due to drowsy drivers can be significant. Because of this danger, a number of ongoing debates concern the best way to regulate drivers' hours of work in order to protect people from dangerous truck crashes.
Drivers may not like the thought of sharing Kentucky highways or other roads with large trucks. However, it is important that drivers of passenger vehicles understand how to stay safe in their presence. For instance, it is never a good idea to speed up as a truck begins to change into a smaller vehicle's lane. This is because the truck may not be able to stop or move back into the other lane fast enough to avoid a collision.
According to research, trucking and health issues go hand in hand. The long, uninterrupted hours that truck drivers may spend behind the wheel without access to restful sleep accommodations and nutritious meals have previously been linked to a variety of medical issues, including lower back pain, diabetes and heart disease. Now findings suggest that commercial truck operators with three or more medical problems could pose a risk to others sharing the roads with them in Kentucky and around the country.
Kentucky residents may believe that accidents involving large trucks take place overnight, on the interstate or that they are caused by aggressive drivers. However, these are not assumptions that are borne out by the facts. In about 70 percent of accidents between large trucks and smaller vehicles, the driver of the smaller vehicle was responsible. This may be because drivers of those vehicles drive too fast or are in a truck driver's blind spot at the time of a crash.
Kentucky truck drivers should be aware that over 1,700 tractor-trailers will be recalled because of a potential defect in the fuel pump in some Cummins engines. An estimated 1,737 Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks that were built with Cummins ISX15 engines are included in the recall.