Federal data shows that from 2009 to 2017, all but six states saw an increase in the number of large truck crash fatalities. Texas saw the highest number in 2017, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Texas also had the fourth highest percentage increase in truck crash deaths during that eight-year period (the top three being Washington, Idaho and Colorado).
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released statistics on the number of serious dump truck and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks in 2016 (the latest year with available statistics). Truck drivers in Texas should know that there were 8,206 dump truck accidents so severe that the vehicle had to be towed away. This marked a 9 percent increase from the previous year.
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.