Philadelphia County experienced six fatalities in large truck accidents in 2013. Only two counties had more of these deaths.
Accidents that involve tractor-trailers or other heavy and large commercial vehicles can leave Pennsylvania residents suffering greatly. These crashes can be caused by many things but there are three factors known to be serious risks-speeding, substance use and fatigue among truckers.
How can speeding be reduced?
According to Business Insurance, some investigation is being done into ways to monitor truck drivers’ speeds. This includes the proposed installation of speed limiter devices into vehicles. With an estimated 18 percent of trucking accidents involving speed, something clearly needs to happen.
In fact, USA Today recently noted that speed was a contributing factor in the fatal truck accident that claimed the life of a well-known comedian. The operator of the Wal-Mart truck was travelling through a construction zone at a speed 20 miles per hour over the posted limit at the time he struck the other vehicle.
How can impaired driving be attacked?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is putting the finishing touches on a new database and set of rules governing the hire of new drivers. The Commercial Carrier Journal indicates it could all be ready to roll out in early 2016. The database will house critical driver information related to drug and alcohol testing and violations.
At the same time, the Bulk Transporter explains that ongoing random drug and alcohol tests will be performed on drivers by the FMCSA.
How can truck driver fatigue be addressed?
Fatigue was also pointed out as a factor in the accident that killed the comedian according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Proposed changes to drivers’ hours of service were put on hold by Congress this year so that the FMCSA could obtain more data noted Supply Chain Digest. This stay was ordered due to the high level of controversy surrounding the new rules.
As noted by JOC.com, the FMCSA has completed all research and will now compile the results. A report is due to the Inspector General at the Department of Transportation. This report may be complete by the end of this year.
Is this enough for Pennsylvania residents?
Every bit of progress is helpful when it comes to reducing large truck accidents. However, the above steps may well not be sufficient to eliminate these potentially deadly crashes. With 155 large truck accident deaths in Pennsylvania in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records make it clear-action is needed.
For this reason, victims or their family members should always be ready to contact an attorney after an accident involving a large commercial vehicle.