More so than car accidents, truck accidents can complicate the process of determining liability. Oklahoma residents should know that there are several reasons for this, the first being that truck accidents are more likely to end in serious injuries or death. Trucks weigh more, take longer to stop and take up more space.
Truck crashes are on the rise in Oklahoma and across the U.S. The ones who are being most impacted by the trend are not truckers, however, but occupants of passenger vehicles. They make up 72% of deaths in truck crashes, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In the effort to reduce truck crashes, some trucking companies are turning more to vehicle safety devices.
Oklahoma drivers might want to avoid the Highway 23 bypass in North Dakota. The roadway, coined the New Town Truck Reliever Route, has been the site of at least two deadly truck accidents since it was constructed in 2014.
Oklahoma truck accidents can be particularly frightening. The impact of an 18-wheeler impact can be devastating, and people in smaller vehicles are far more likely to suffer severe injuries or even fatalities as a result of a crash. Due to the threat posed by truck collisions to roadway safety, a number of safety advocates are urging greater regulations. Proposed legislation would require all large trucks to use speed limiters and automatic emergency brake systems.
The Chief Safety Officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration addressed truck drivers in Oregon and across the country at the annual 2019 Transportation Research Board meeting. During the meeting, he delivered the most recent crash statistics available. According to statistics, the number of deaths in large-truck-occupant crashes increased each year from 2015 to 2017. Additionally, the number of fatalities involving large trucks increased.
Truck fleet owners and truck drivers in Oklahoma may want to know about the Large Truck Crash Causation Study that was released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. After analyzing the data behind 120,000 fatal truck crashes that occurred within a 33-month period, researchers found that truckers were to blame for 68,000 of them.
Thousands of big trucks cross Oklahoma every day. Passenger vehicles sharing space with these roadway giants are at an extreme disadvantage if there is a collision. Fully loaded transport trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds while small cars are just a fraction of that amount. Understanding the physical challenges truckers face when operating a tractor trailer can help motorists make safer decisions during their commutes.
Many commercial truckers in Oklahoma and across the U.S. have complained about a federal rule requiring them to take a 30-minute rest break after driving for eight consecutive hours. The thrust of the argument is that the break creates delays, forces truckers to speed in order to meet deadlines and gives rise to fatigue sooner in the shift.
Truck accidents can pose a major threat to motorists on the roads in Oklahoma. These crashes can be particularly dangerous if the truck driver involved is fatigued, distracted or otherwise impaired. Estimates indicate that up to 100,000 crashes each year are caused by drowsy driving. Many companies are looking for technological solutions that can reduce the risk of severe crashes.
In an ongoing effort to prevent roadway accidents, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts its annual Brake Safety Week. This should help reassure Oklahoma drivers who often share the road with large, commercial trucks.