Fatalities In Large-Truck Crashes Increase Again
Trucking fatalities in large-truck crashes increased for the 4th consecutive year in a roll according to the Department of Transportation.While other safety measures have been made and we’ve seen improvements in safety, large-truck fatalities continues to be a blimp in the system.
Fatalities rose to 3,964 people last year, which includes truckers, pedestrians and the occupants of vehicles that collided with the big rigs, the U.S. Transportation Department said today in its annual traffic-injury report. That’s up 0.5 percent from 2012, even though highway deaths involving all types of vehicles fell 3.1 percent to 32,719.
What is the cause on increased trucking fatalities? For one, more vehicles are on the road. There’s a lot of different changes that can be made to help improve safety for drivers and pedestrians. For example, stronger underride guards on the backs of semi-trailers would be a great start.
The Department of Transportation fears that the 34 hour restart suspension is going to reverse the trend. They continue to bring up tired truck drivers. While that may be a fair start, I don’t think a few hours each week is going to make that much more of an impact. Large-truck fatalities have increased 4 years in a roll anyway, obviously the 34 hour restart didn’t help in that regard.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration David Friedman is one that didn’t want to see the 34 hour restart rollback. “We do know tired truckers are a risk on our roads,” stated Friedman. “Any effort to reduce the number of people who are tired or drowsy on the road can have an impact.”
It’s true that we need better safety measurements in place, without question. Look at our technology today, could we have a safer truck? Absolutely. However, everyone is more worried about miles per gallon rather then the safety of the truck. And I have an issue with that. Drivers should be safer, equipment needs to be safer, changes need to be made to slow trucking fatalities down.
I think one of the main issues is pedestrians. People don’t understand the situation, how it takes a truck a long time to stop. They don’t understand how a truck can’t see you in the mirrors if you’re riding their tail. And as far as truck drivers, we need to get enough sleep. The extra hours we now have each week is not going to make a big difference.
I’m curious what you think, how can we solve this issue? Is there anything in place that needs changed? Trucking fatalities are up for a 4th year in large trucks, how do we change the trend?