People in Ohio and across the U.S. are getting less sleep according to a new study by researchers at Ball State University. What's worse is that many professional drivers are among the most sleep deprived.
Truck accidents can be particularly frightening to others on the road in Ohio. While there are a number of factors that can lead to crashes involving large trucks, truck driver fatigue poses a special concern. Long hours over monotonous stretches of highway, especially at night, are part of a truck driver's job. Even following federal regulations on hours of service mean that a trucker spends many hours behind the wheel. Those regulations limit truck drivers to 11 hours of driving and a 14-hour total workday.
Winter conditions pose a serious challenge to commercial truckers in Ohio and across the U.S., so it would be a good idea to consider a few tips. One is to slow down, even traveling below the speed limit if necessary. At the same time, truckers should maintain a buffer zone from the vehicle in front since snow and ice increase a truck's stopping distance. Always avoid getting into packs on the highway.
Drivers in Ohio may be interested to know that federal crash data analyzed by Road Safe America showed that from 2009 to 2017, 44 states experienced increases in big-rig truck crash fatalities. During that time period, 35,882 people lost their lives in crashes involving large trucks. According to the co-founder of the non-profit organization, the fatalities could have been prevented if there had been laws in place requiring the use of automatic emergency braking technologies and existing speed limiting.
Anyone in Ohio who drives a dump truck or ready-mix concrete delivery truck should know about the accident rates just released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Focusing on 2016, the latest year for which they have statistics, the FMCSA has shown that severe accidents involving dump trucks (that is, severe to the point that the truck had to be towed away) went up 9 percent for a total of 8,206.
Parents and other safety advocates in Ohio and across the country are concerned that proposed legislation aiming to reduce fatal truck accidents has seen little progress since it was introduced in Congress in 2017. Underride crashes, in which a passenger car slides under the carriage of a large truck or semi-trailer, can be devastating and often fatal. Severe head and neck injuries are common in these types of accidents, even when they occur at low speeds. Protective gear, called underride guards, can reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash.
In 2017, the total number of people who died in traffic accidents decreased 1.8 percent from 2016's numbers, going from 37,806 to 37,133 fatalities. Passenger vehicle, motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths saw a respective decline of 1.4, 3.1 and 1.7 percent. Speeding-related deaths dropped 5.6 percent and bicyclist deaths 8.1 percent. Ohio residents will agree that these are positive developments.
Distracted driving accidents are considered some of the most severe in terms of injuries and vehicle damage, and with the introduction of smartphones and other mobile devices, they are on the rise. Ohio residents should know, however, that new technology is being introduced that could help keep drivers from experiencing technology-related distractions.
Commercial truck drivers in Ohio and the rest of the United States have a higher risk of engaging in drowsy driving than other types of drivers. Drowsy driving is believed to be the cause of an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents in the country every year. The extreme weight and size of commercial trucks and big rigs make them the most hazardous vehicles in drowsy driving accidents.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers in Ohio and across America should know that there are two upcoming inspection sprees, both concerned with enforcing brake safety guidelines. The two initiatives form part of Operation Airbrake, a program started back in 1998 by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. During the past 20 years, more than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected.