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.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance partners with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to organize brake inspection events throughout the country. Truck drivers in Kentucky can expect to encounter two inspection events in 2018. The CVSA has scheduled Brake Safety Week in September and plans to hold a surprise one-day inspection spree at some point this year.
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.