Back in November, researchers published a study in Accident Analysis & Prevention, and their conclusions should be of interest to commercial motor vehicle drivers in New York. Fatigued driving is a hazard of the trucking industry, and researchers have found that fatigue-related CMV crashes are more likely in areas far from any truck stops, rest areas or weigh stations with rest havens.
Truck accidents can be particularly devastating for New York drivers on the road. Due to the size and weight of large semi-trucks, occupants of passenger vehicles are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. This means that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, mandate to identify unsafe trucking companies and improve their records is important for the safety of everyone who takes to the roads. The FMCSA released a report that identified its plans to reform the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program to improve trucking safety.
Truck accidents can be catastrophic and even deadly for occupants of other vehicles on New York roadways. Because of the weight and mass of tractor-trailers, a collision with a truck can have especially damaging, long-term effects. In addition, the size disparity means that the people in smaller vehicles bear a much greater risk. Statistics collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that 69 percent of the victims in accidents involving large trucks were in passenger vehicles, while only 16 percent of injured victims were occupants of the trucks.
New York residents should know about some analyses made by two fleet management systems providers. In the first, a company analyzed the behavior of drivers from more than 6,200 of its fleets, including small and midsize businesses with anywhere between 2 and 200 work trucks, including commercial motor vehicles, pick-ups and light vans. Using this data, it ranked the 50 states for truck driver safety.
From September 16 to 22, commercial motor vehicles across New York and the rest of the U.S. will be subjected to a brake inspection spree. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts this inspection spree, called Brake Safety Week, once a year as a way to ensure that truckers routinely check their brakes and maintain them according to the manufacturer's guidelines.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance instituted the International Roadcheck several years ago as a way to crack down on certain common violations among bus and commercial truck drivers. This three-day inspection spree occurs once a year across New York and the rest of the U.S. as well as overseas. The 2018 Roadcheck has just wrapped up; it took place from June 5 to 7.
When drivers in New York share the road with large trucks, they may be concerned about the consequences of a collision involving one of these massive vehicles. When a fatal crash takes place involving both a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck, the fatality is a person in the passenger car up to 97 percent of the time. Even when everyone survives the crash, the injuries and property damage suffered can be significant. This is especially true when trucks of such size and mass are involved.
The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 3 percent from 2015 to 2016 according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Vehicles, people or objects encroaching into a truck's lane were contributing factors to 76 percent of those accidents. These accidents were most likely to happen on rural areas of New York and other parts of the country.
The advocacy group for tractor-trailer owner-operators, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), has recently filed a petition with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seeking changes to so-called 'hours of service" regulations. The FMCSA is responsible for issuing regulations on the number of hours a day a tractor-trailer driver can be on the road. These changes could affect the safety of all New York drivers.
Each year, more than 200 Americans die when their vehicle slides beneath the side of a tractor-trailer truck. These types of accidents, called "side underride" collisions, are especially deadly because they can shear off the top of the car, causing severe head trauma to the driver and passengers. To address the issue, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida have proposed a bipartisan bill that could prevent such accidents.