Most of the goods purchased by Oklahoma residents each year are transported across the country by more than 15 million semi-tractor trailers. Road safety advocates have long petitioned for more stringent commercial vehicle regulations, and those calls have grown louder over the last 10 years as the number of truck accidents increased by an alarming 20 percent. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are tasked with improving road safety and protecting road users, and a report released by the two federal agencies sheds new light on the recent rise in truck accidents.
Most Oklahoma drivers understand the importance of defensive driving. At any time, a motorist can be involved in a crash caused by another party. The notion of defensive driving becomes even more critical when sharing space with the large trucks that carry the majority of freight transported across the United States. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which dwarfs the typical passenger vehicle. In collisions between these two types of vehicles, the truck is always the clear winner, and there can be deadly consequences for even momentary distractions.
Truck fleet owners in Oklahoma and across the U.S. are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Billboards dot the highways telling truckers to keep their eyes on the road and cautioning against texting and driving, but many people overlook them because of the mentality that says it won't happen to me. However, science backs up the claim that visual, manual and cognitive distractions raise the risk for accidents.
Truckers in Oklahoma may remember and have even been subjected to the International Roadcheck that took place between June 5 and 7, 2018. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds this inspection spree once a year across North America in the effort to ensure vehicle- and driver-related safety compliance. 67,502 inspections were conducted this year, including 45,400 Level I inspections.
Trucking safety is a major public concern for people in Oklahoma and across the country. It's important to note that tractor-trailer accidents are far more likely to injure or even kill the occupants of passenger cars than truckers. Therefore, it's vital that the government maintains clear and accurate information about trucking safety records in order to reduce the likelihood of these types of crashes.
Commercial truck drivers in Oklahoma might want to check their brakes. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week is scheduled to take place Sept. 16-22. During the event, CVSA inspectors will conduct roadside checks on commercial trucks and pull from service those with critical brake issues.
Trucking companies in Oklahoma will want to learn about the various tech companies and data analysis firms that could help them reduce distracted driving among employees. The fact is that smartphones, infotainment systems and other technologies are creating an addiction in drivers, but there is new technology that can counteract this trend.
The National Safety Council has announced a goal to reduce traffic fatalities in Oklahoma and across the U.S. to zero by 2050. The organization's CEO said the ambitious objective is comparable to the goal of sending an astronaut to the moon 50 years ago.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a commercial truck and bus inspection spree once a year as a way to enforce compliance with driver and vehicle safety regulations. This 72-hour event is called the International Roadcheck. Truck and bus drivers in Oklahoma should know that the 2018 roadcheck will occur from June 5 to 7, and they should especially keep in mind the current hours-of-service regulations as these are a major focus.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration strictly enforces rules that limit how long semi-tractor trailer drives can spend behind the wheel, but trade groups such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believe that hours of service regulations could actually be making the roads in Oklahoma and around the country more dangerous. The OOIDA has petitioned the FMCSA to revise these rules by allowing drivers to split their 14-hour shifts into segments.