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.
As many Ohio drivers are aware, many trucks use the nation's roadways every day to transport goods. In fact, it is estimated that 2 million semi-trucks help move products and supplies each year. Due to the sheer number of trucks on the road, accidents involving these commercial vehicles do occur. However, there are ways that trucking firms can help reduce the number of accidents.
A commercial truck accident can burden victims with vehicle repair costs, medical bills and lost wages. To receive compensatory damages, they can either go through with litigation, or they can see if the other side will settle out of court. Civil law in Ohio, as in other states, allows for out-of-court settlements via alternative dispute resolution. ADR methods include negotiations, mediation and arbitration.
With more than 3 million commercial drivers moving 70 percent of the nation's cargo, the trucking industry is essential to the U.S. economy. It is also an industry fraught with dangers as turnover rates exceed 90 percent and drowsy driving becomes more and more common. Drivers in Ohio should know that a startup specializing in safety software could help prevent truck drivers from engaging in drowsy driving and other risky behavior.
Accidents caused by truck driver fatigue can be a major concern for people on the highways in Ohio and across the United States. Truck drivers work long shifts and drive monotonously for hours across the highway; many more perform their work in overnight hauls, which could increase the danger of drowsy driving. Drowsy driving can have a range of causes, including a medical condition called sleep apnea. When untreated, sleep apnea prevents sufferers from receiving a full night's sleep and could lead to dangerously drowsy driving.