The results of the 2018 Brake Safety Week are out, so truckers and their employers in Texas will want to know how it went. Inspectors certified by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance pulled over a total of 35,080 commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to check for compliance with brake safety rules, putting 4,955 or 14.1 percent out of service for violations.
Some Texas truck drivers may be aware that in early June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held a road safety blitz. The CVSA focused on hours-of-service violations, but fewer than 2 percent of all drivers were taken out of service for this type of violation. "Brake Safety Week" was planned as the focus for a September event.
Commercial truckers in Texas who work long hours probably know that they are at risk for drowsy driving. What they might not know is that the risk for a fatigue-related crash increases the farther away they are from rest areas. This is according to a recent study completed by the University of Kentucky.
In Texas and across the country, truck braking violations can pose a severe danger to truck drivers and others on the road. When the brakes on large trucks and commercial vehicles are improperly maintained, it can become difficult or impossible for a driver to correctly stop their vehicle, especially in slippery conditions or emergency situations. The effects of a large, unstoppable truck can be catastrophic given the size and weight of the vehicles involved. This is one reason that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is conducting its annual Brake Safety Week between September 16 and 22.
Texas truckers who drive big rigs may be interested in results of a recent international Roadcheck day in Iowa. Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency personnel performed a 37-step inspection on trucks and drivers at a weigh station on Interstate 380. The program's goal is to improve safety on the nation's highways.
Texas motorists may be interested to learn that fatal accidents involving large trucks increased by 3 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While the raw number went up, fatal crashes involving trucks stayed at the same rate when calculated on a per mile basis. The report, titled Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, also showed that 73 percent of fatal incidents were started by an object, person, animal or other vehicle encroaching into the truck's lane.
Texas motorists and truck drivers may be interested to learn that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled to take place between July 15 and July 21. During this week, law enforcement agencies around the country will be taking part in watching the nation's roads in order to spot commercial drivers and drivers of passenger vehicles using unsafe driving practices.
With an ambitious goal of bringing traffic deaths down to zero by the year 2050, an organization called the Road to Zero Coalition is pressing a number of initiatives aimed at improving road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2016, more than 34,000 died in motor vehicle accidents. Of those deaths, more than 4,700 involved large trucks.
For drivers on the roadways in Texas, sharing the highway with large trucks and 18-wheelers can be an unnerving experience. The massive size and weight of these vehicles mean that they can pose a particular threat to smaller cars, light trucks and motorcycles, and a crash could lead to severe personal injuries or even fatalities. This means that it can be important for drivers to be particularly cautious around large semi-trucks in order to protect themselves from negligent or dangerous driving.
Commercial truck drivers in Texas should be aware that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has proposed a major change in break times for 14-hour work clocks. The association has submitted a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requesting that drivers are able to have up to three straight off-duty hours during the 14 hours they are working. It is asking that drivers be allowed to pause their daily work clock and that the 30-minute rest time requirement that is currently in place be eliminated.