The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that in collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles, 72% of the fatalities are occupants of the latter. It is imperative, then, that trucking companies in Michigan and across the U.S. do all they can to prevent crashes. Unfortunately, truck crashes continue to rise in many states.
The Michigan State Police have reported that a tractor-trailer accident on the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 in Macomb County on the afternoon of March 6 claimed the life of a 55-year-old woman and left four other road users injured. The Detroit resident was killed when a large truck struck the rear of her Ford Taurus sedan. Emergency services workers pronounced her dead at the scene.
At about 6:36 a.m. on Jan. 14, Michigan authorities were alerted to a crash involving a pickup truck and a commercial vehicle. The crash took place near the junction of South Custer and Herr roads in Monroe Township. Police said that the pickup truck made a lane change after the vehicle in front of it stopped at a red light. This resulted in the semi colliding with the rear of the pickup.
Michigan parents should know that attempts to get a federal bill passed to require better and more underride guards on big rigs in this country have been delayed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It has been a year since the Stop Underrides Act 2017 was introduced, and parents who have lost children in an underride crash are still waiting for a hearing on the bill to be scheduled. They are hoping it comes about when the new Congress convenes in January.
Commercial truckers in Michigan should know that more and more drivers in their industry are getting involved in fatal crashes. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that 4,761 people (including about 1,300 truckers) were killed in large-truck crashes in 2017. This was a 9 percent increase from the previous year and the highest level in 29 years.
The worrying increase in distracted driving accidents is often blamed on smartphones and sophisticated automobile entertainment, navigation and information systems. However, many drivers crash each year in Michigan and around the country from just letting their minds wander. The problem is an especially thorny one for the freight moving sector because accidents involving semi-tractor trailers are usually serious. Furthermore, the pressure that truck drivers work under often leaves them fatigued and prone to distraction.
Commercial truck drivers in Michigan should be aware that they are more likely to engage in drowsy driving than other motorists. According to some estimates, drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year. Because of their enormous weight and size, commercial trucks and big rigs are likely to cause catastrophic and deadly injuries when they are involved in accidents.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced that it will ramp up its enforcement efforts in Michigan and throughout the country during Brake Safety Week in 2018. The event, which will take place Sept. 16-22, will primarily focus on Level I inspections. Inspectors will be looking for things like loose or missing parts, defective rotor conditions and worn linings. They'll also be checking a wide range of other components that are crucial to the braking safety of commercial vehicles.
Drivers in Michigan can imagine what the result of a collision with a commercial truck is like. In 97 percent of fatal crashes between trucks and passenger vehicles, it is an occupant of the latter who dies. Should victims live through the event, they are usually left with serious physical and mental conditions. The following are just a few of the most common injuries.
Many Michigan drivers may worry about the potential for crashes when sharing the road with large commercial trucks. As vehicles rapidly move down the highway, the chance of an accident with a large vehicle could pose the risk of serious injuries and even fatalities. The vast majority of car crashes are caused by unsafe driving, so many efforts are intended to improve driver behavior on the roads both in passenger vehicles and in large trucks and buses. One such initiative, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Operation Safe Driver Week, has been scheduled for July 15-22, 2018.