Avoiding accidents is something that most Delaware drivers probably do every day without even thinking about it. For truck drivers, though, safety is literally a job requirement. In a recent webinar, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration focused on the many statistics that have recently come out concerning truck accidents.
The FMCSA’s recent study on collision fatalities has one finding that is probably unsurprising: according to data through 2013, large semi trucks are overrepresented in roadway crashes. Per the FMCSA, heavy trucks, as well as buses, were involved in 13 percent of accidents as well as an equal percentage of traffic fatalities. However, these vehicles account for less than five percent of registered vehicles, and less than 10 percent of miles driven on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large truck or bus crashes took the lives of over 4,000 people in over 3,800 accidents nationwide.
What can be done to reduce the involvement of these large, heavy vehicles in traffic accidents nationwide? For some, focusing on small, manageable changes and particular problems is productive. For instance, data from 2013 reveal that 78 bicyclists and 338 pedestrians were killed in these types of accidents. A U.S. Department of Transportation statistician discovered that many of these accidents were due to environmental factors, such as poor lighting or overall dark conditions. However, truck driver inattention or distraction was cited as a factor in over 14 percent of wrecks.
An inattentive truck driver is a dangerous presence on Delaware’s roads or anywhere there are other vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians. Other factors, such as truck driver fatigue or defective auto parts, can also contribute to America’s gruesome statistics regarding semi truck accidents. While truck crashes will likely never disappear entirely, safety should be every truck driver’s number one priority.
Source: Fleet Owner, “FMCSA discusses large truck fatalities, calls for police training,” Aaron Marsh, Nov. 19, 2015