Posts in Car & Truck Accidents.

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a danger to others. A new federal government report identifies the drugs, including alcohol, that pose the most risk for serious crashes by impaired drivers.

Speeding is a careless driving behavior that can cause serious crashes.  An organization focused on preventing catastrophic truck accidents recently revealed just how prevalent speeding drivers are today.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is an organization focused on commercial trucking safety. In July 2022 it held Operation Safe Driver Week, an annual event designed to stop dangerous drivers. CVSA announced the results in late November.

Law enforcement in the United States and Canada cited commercial truck drivers and passenger drivers for unsafe driving – more than ...

A 2016 study concluded that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.  New research concludes that nearly a quarter of all hospital patients suffer harm from a medical error.

The 2016 Johns Hopkins study (“Medical Error—The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US”) found that medical errors are responsible for 250,000 patient deaths each year.  Only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths annually, according to the study.

Serious Medical Errors Made in Hospitals

Common, serious medical errors made in hospitals include:

Drivers readily identify dangerous behaviors that lead to serious accidents, yet a significant portion admit to doing them.

Fatal car crashes in this country have increased.  In September the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a report on fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2020, the most recent year with final data (“2020 Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes”). The report notes that 2020 deaths in car and truck crashes climbed nearly 7% compared to 2019.

It also notes a significant year-to-year increase in the number of deaths involving speeding drivers ...

A truck safety organization found 14% of commercial trucks had dangerously defective brakes on one day in April. A few months later the results weren’t significantly better following the organization’s full week of inspections devoted to truck brake safety.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is a consortium of truck safety officials and state law enforcement officers. Its mission is to make trucking safer and prevent fatal commercial truck crashes.

Negligent Truck Drivers

CVSA periodically conducts roadside inspections of truck drivers and their ...

As fatal commercial truck crashes continue to rise, safety is not a high priority within the commercial trucking industry.

According to the federal government’s most recent statistics (“Traffic Safety Facts 2020”), nearly 5,000 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2020.  More than 70% of those who died were passengers in vehicles other than the truck.

Rise in Fatal Commercial Truck Crashes

The number of people who died in commercial truck accidents in 2020 compared to 2011 rose 31%. In Missouri in 2020, commercial trucks were involved in almost 10% of the ...

Careless truck driver behavior is a leading cause of commercial truck crashes. The trucking industry this month published research that predicts the negligent truck driver actions that are most likely to cause a crash.

The number of people killed in tractor-trailer crashes has risen steadily.  According to federal government reporting, deaths from catastrophic commercial truck accidents rose 13% between 2020 and 2021 alone.

The government’s 2006 “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” is the most comprehensive look into the causes of commercial truck accidents to date. It ...

Over just three days in May, inspectors found thousands of commercial trucks with defective brakes so dangerous they were immediately taken off U.S. roads.

Catastrophic truck crashes can be linked to maintenance issues, such as defective brakes and defective truck tires.  The Commercial Vehicle Alliance, a coalition of law enforcement and safety officials focused on making commercial trucking safer, holds an annual event, called International Roadcheck, to stop poorly maintained trucks from hurting others.

This year’s International Roadcheck was held May 17-19 ...

While fewer people live in rural Missouri compared to the state’s major metropolitan areas, they likely have a greater chance of being victims of a deadly car crash than their big-city counterparts.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents, regardless of location, have increased in recent years.  The federal government in August estimated that the number of people killed in car and truck crashes for the first quarter of this year rose 7% compared to the first three months of 2021. That number projects to be the highest number of traffic fatalities in any first quarter in the last 20 years.

In July ...

Commercial truck drivers are prone to sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea can lead to dangerously fatigued truck drivers and be catastrophic for others on the road.

Obstructive sleep apnea forces the throat muscles to relax periodically through the night, temporarily blocking a person’s airway. This can stop a person’s breathing for a slight moment and interrupt sleep.

These interruptions can occur hundreds of times a night, leaving a sufferer exhausted the next day.

Half of Commercial Truck Drivers May Have Sleep Apnea

A 2020 study from Virginia Tech University concluded that 49% of ...

Distracted driving is rising on the nation’s roads.

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) is a vehicle technology service provider whose stated mission is to make driving safer.  In April it released its “2022 Distracted Driving Report,” which concluded that distracted driving is now more prevalent than prior to the pandemic.

Specifically, distracted driving was 30% higher in February 2022 than February 2020. For the purposes of this report, CMT measured distracted driving by the time drivers spent on their cell phone while behind the wheel.

According to CMT, February 2022 was ...

According to one recent measure, Missouri is one of the states with the most irresponsible drivers.  In fact, Missouri cracks the top 10.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) is the federal agency responsible for preventing fatal motor vehicle crashes. It has a page on its website devoted to “Risky Driving,” and provides examples of risky driving behaviors.  These include:

Negligent Actions that Cause Fatal Car Crashes

Each one of these negligent driving behaviors ...

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for the safety of the nation’s trucking industry.  Earlier this year, it released the top commercial trucking company safety violations it uncovered in 2021.

There is new evidence not reflected in those violations, however, of the depth of another cause of commercial trucking accidents: defective truck brakes.

In March FMCSA announced the top safety regulation violations it issued trucking companies last year following federal audits. Only 5% of the trucking companies audited did not receive a violation.  The ...

One truck safety organization is conducting several events this summer that highlight and attempt to prevent common causes of catastrophic trucking accidents.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a coalition of roadway safety groups and law enforcement throughout North America.  It focuses on making trucking safer in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Defective Commercial Truck Brakes

It will hold its annual Brake Safety Week this year on August 21 – 27. Inspectors will conduct roadside inspections of commercial trucks, checking for serious maintenance issues.  The ...

Preventing fatal commercial truck crashes continues to be a national concern, and lawmakers are targeting speeding truck drivers.

The most recent federal data show that in 2020, nearly 5,000 people were killed in commercial truck accidents.  More than 70% of those who died were occupants of vehicles other than the truck.

Catastrophic crashes involving tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles appear to be growing problem. The federal government estimates that fatal commercial truck crashes jumped 13% in 2021 over 2020.

Causes of Serious Commercial Truck Crashes

Many ...

According to the most recent federal report of fatal crashes, the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents last year was the highest it has been in 16 years – including a 13% jump in commercial truck crash deaths.

In April the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report that estimates the number of U.S. car and truck crash deaths for 2021. NHTSA projects that nearly 43,000 people died in catastrophic motor vehicle accidents.  If the projection holds after the numbers are finalized, that would represent a 10.5% increase over 2020.

Increase in Missouri ...

The most recent federal data show that while large commercial trucks account for just 5% of all vehicles on the road, they are involved in 9% of the nation’s fatal crashes. They also are involved in 9% of fatal motor vehicle crashes in Missouri.

In April the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released its report on “Large Trucks” for 2020, the most recent year with finalized commercial truck crash data. The report provides some insights into the causes of catastrophic truck crashes.

Victims of Fatal Commercial Truck Crashes

Nearly 5,000 people died in ...

Law enforcement will spend one week this summer focused even more heavily on stopping unsafe car drivers and unsafe commercial truck drivers – with good reason.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced it will conduct this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week July 10-16.  The nonprofit organization, comprised of police and other roadway safety officials, has held this event for several years.

It will be a coordinated effort between police in the U.S, Canada and Mexico to identify dangerous drivers and then report their findings.

Negligent Driving

According to CVSA ...

The latest federal report shows that fatal motor vehicle crashes continue to climb and points to two negligent driving behaviors as major contributors.

In early March the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released “Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020,” a comprehensive look at car and commercial truck accidents for the most recent year with finalized data.

A recent rise in fatal motor vehicle accidents continued in 2020, according to the NHTSA report.  Nearly 39,000 people died in car crashes and truck crashes that year – a nearly 7% jump in ...

An organization focused on making commercial trucking safer recently released its inaugural report on fatal truck crashes. The report highlights common causes of fatal truck wrecks and provides recommendations to curb contributing negligent behavior.

The Institute for Safer Trucking is a nonprofit organization that promotes commercial trucking public safety issues. It has identified its top priorities in this effort, which include:

  • Automatic emergency braking systems for large commercial trucks
  • Speed limiters for large commercial trucks

The group published its Safer ...

Revised federal regulations for training new commercial truck drivers are now in place, but will they help reduce the rising tide of fatal trucking accidents?

New federal commercial truck driver training regulations became effective February 7, 2022.  They are for those who are:

  • Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License for the first time
  • Upgrading their CDL from Class B to Class A
  • Obtaining a CDL enhancement, called endorsements, to haul hazardous materials or drive a school bus or other vehicles with numerous passengers

So these revised training regulations don’t apply to most ...

Despite an alarming amount of positive drug tests by commercial truck drivers, there is evidence that their illegal drug use is significantly underreported.

The dangers of commercial truck drivers using illegal drugs are obvious.  A truck driver’s delayed reaction, impaired decision-making, or acute drowsiness can cause a fatal truck accident.

Commercial truck drivers are tested for alcohol and drug use.  Previously, a failed drug test did not always threaten a truck driver’s job.  That’s because there was no mechanism for sharing a failed truck driver drug test among ...

Young commercial truck drivers – as young as 18 – driving across the nation may soon be a reality.

There is a commercial truck driver shortage.  Even before COVID-19 the trucking industry was reporting a dire need for new truck drivers.

Responding to this truck industry concern, Congress passed the DRIVE-Safe Act, included in the federal infrastructure bill that was adopted in November 2021. It allows 18-year-olds to drive large commercial trucks across state lines.

18-Year-Old Interstate Commercial Truck Drivers

The new law mandates a two-year pilot program for young ...

A relatively new federal safety regulation to keep tired truck drivers off the road was found to be working in one respect, but not accomplishing its main goal: preventing commercial truck crashes.

Driving a commercial truck, especially long-haul trucking, can be exhausting.  Long trips challenge the body and the mind.

Federal Hours of Service rules have existed for many years. Their objective is to make sure truckers get proper rest so they are mentally and physically sharp behind the wheel.  Fatigued truck drivers have caused catastrophic accidents.

Truck Driver Hours of Service ...

Defective truck brakes can cause catastrophic commercial truck accidents.  One organization recently documented just how prevalent this danger is on America’s roads.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance annually conducts an event called “Brake Safety Week.” It identifies tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks with unsafe brakes.  This year’s event was held August 22 through 28.

CVSA, a group of law enforcement and safety officials throughout North America, announced the 2021 Brake Safety Week results in October. Nearly 29,000 commercial trucks were ...

According to the latest report from the federal government, the number of fatal truck crashes is not slowing down.

In October the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the federal agency that regulates the nation’s commercial trucking industry, released a comprehensive review of accidents involving large commercial vehicles, including buses and trucks, for 2019 (“Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2019”). This is the most recent year that finalized crash data is available.

FMCSA defines large trucks as rigs with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds. A fully loaded ...

Motor vehicle crash deaths in the United States are at their highest this year since 2006.  Fatal car accidents in St. Louis are such a growing concern that local police officials recently announced they are taking extra steps to stop dangerous drivers.

In October the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its estimate of U.S. fatal car and truck crashes for the first six months of 2021.  The projected number of deaths in motor vehicle accidents is 20,160, which is an 18% jump compared to the same period in 2020.

According to news reports, this nationwide year-to-year ...

While there’s been a spike in failed commercial truck driver drug tests, many of those drivers may still be on the road today.

In January 2020 the federal government established the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  This is the first nationwide effort to keep track of commercial truck drivers who fail a test for alcohol use or a test for illegal or illicit drug use.

Truck companies and truck fleet operators are required to check the database before hiring any new truck drivers.  They must also annually check on their current drivers.

Truck drivers who fail drug or alcohol tests – ...

Speed kills, as the saying goes.  And that’s one reason to be very concerned about the latest results of an effort to stop dangerous drivers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, a consortium of safety groups and law enforcement officials throughout North America, conducted its annual Operation Safe Driver Week this year from July 11-17. The event is a coordinated effort between police in the United States, Mexico and Canada to identify unsafe motor vehicle drivers and unsafe commercial truck drivers.

The stated purpose of the event is to reduce motor vehicle crashes caused by ...

While the percentage of fatal drunk driving crashes has fallen over the last 10 years, more than one out of every four traffic deaths in the U.S. is still caused by a drunk driver.

In August the federal government released its most recent findings on drunk driving (“State Alcohol-Impaired-Driving Estimates”). It’s a bit of good news and bad news.

The report covers 2019, the most recent year with finalized drunk-driving data, but it also examines this dangerous driving habit over the previous 10 years.

In 2019 more than 10,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes.  ...

For years, distracted driving has been a growing cause of serious motor vehicle accidents, including those involving commercial truck drivers.  We now know the top distractions for truck drivers.

The most recent federal statistics show that more than 3,100 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that causes a driver to lose focus on the task at hand, including:

·         Texting on a cell phone

·         Talking on a cell phone

·         Eating or drinking

·         Adjusting the radio

·         Talking to passengers

These ...

Inspectors recently found that a substantial percentage of U.S. commercial truckers were violating federal rules designed to keep dangerously tired truck drivers off the road.

In May the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted its annual International Roadcheck event – three days of random roadside inspections of truckers and their rigs.  Inspectors throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico uncovered thousands of unsafe truck drivers and unsafe vehicles.

The most serious of violations issued are called out-of-service violations because the truck driver or ...

Distracted driving is a known cause of serious motor vehicle crashes.  Unfortunately, a recent report indicates that distracted driving is on the rise.

In March Travelers Insurance released its “2021 Travelers Risk Index,” a survey of drivers that focused on distracted driving. It found a higher level of distracted drivers on the roads now as compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, based on its “2020 Travelers Risk Index” survey.

Drivers Using Cell Phones

The survey responses indicate a significant uptick in dangerous driving as:

·         26% said they have texted or emailed ...

How many unsafe big-rig and commercial truck drivers can be found on the road in a week?  According to a group of experts, over 10,000!

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of safety officials, law enforcement and trucking industry representatives in North America.  Its goal is to make commercial trucking safer.

CVSA hosts a series of annual events designed to prevent some of the most common causes of serious truck crashes, including:

·         Unsafe truck brakes

·         Tired truckers

·         Speeding truck drivers

During these events law enforcement officials encounter ...

Distracted driving among commercial truck drivers is a dangerous behavior that can lead to a catastrophic truck crash.  It is also a chief cause for concern of fleet managers and other professionals who supervise them.

J.J. Keller & Associates is a nationwide consultant on safety issues.  In April its research arm released the findings of a survey of trucking fleet managers (“The State of Fleet Management — Insights on Today's Fleet Manager”) that revealed safety is generally a top worry for this management group.

The study also revealed that there is a big gap between this ...

The federal government in March expressed concern about commercial trucking safety, noting an upward trend in fatal crashes involving semi-trucks.  Just over 5,000 people were killed in truck crashes in 2019, the most recent year of finalized data.  That’s a 48% jump from 2009.

But the effects from a change in federal rules made last year – potentially putting more tied truck drivers on the road - may factor into deadly truck accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees the safety of large commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers. It is responsible for ...

Seeing a pair of headlights coming at you the wrong way on the highway is terrifying. Wrong- way highway crashes are often fatal and on the rise in recent years. A notable research organization recently looked into what causes them.

In March the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety – the research arm of AAA – released a study on deadly wrong-way crashes (“Fatal Wrong-Way Crashes on Divided Highways”). The organization noted that between 2010 and 2018, nearly 4,000 people were killed in the United States in wrong-way crashes.

Highway Wrong-Way Crashes on the Rise

It also found that ...

A nationwide effort to find and uncover dangerous trucks and dangerously fatigued commercial truckers will be held next month.  The results of past efforts are alarming.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a nonprofit consortium of safety experts and law enforcement officials all concerned with one thing – preventing catastrophic truck crashes. It pursues this goal with education and special events.  One annual event – International Roadcheck – is set for May 4-6.

CVSA will conduct random, roadside big rig inspections throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada ...

The need to curb distracted drivers and drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol is so dire the federal government has just put them on a nationwide “most wanted” poster of sorts.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigates catastrophic aviation accidents and other modes of transportation, such as highway driving.  Based on the outcomes of these investigations, the federal agency makes recommendations for avoiding other serious accidents in the future.

Earlier this month the agency released its “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for ...

According to the federal government, in 2019 - the most recent year with finalized data - more than 5,000 people died in crashes with large commercial trucks. It recently identified the most common truck driver actions that caused those deadly wrecks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees this country’s commercial motor vehicle industry.  This includes large trucks, such as 18-wheelers. The FMCSA‘s goal is to prevent catastrophic truck crashes through:

·         Education

·         Regulation

·         Enforcing its safety mandates.

Earlier this month the agency conducted its ...

If there were any questions on whether commercial trucking companies largely favor their bottom lines over public safety, they may have been answered over the last few days.

When a semi-truck hits a car head-on, especially at highway speeds, the results can be catastrophic for the car’s occupants.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report on car and truck crashes for 2019 (“Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2019”), 70 percent of the 5,000 people killed in tractor-trailer crashes were occupants of other vehicles.

It’s little wonder why ...

The number of pedestrians killed in a motor vehicle accident has climbed dramatically in recent years. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, last year there were more pedestrians killed in Missouri than ever before. Here’s a detailed look at some of the factors that have caused this spike in fatal pedestrian crashes.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the research arm of the AAA motor club, the number of pedestrian deaths increased 53% between 2009 and 2018.

Citing this rise, the organization in January released online the findings of its ...

According to the latest federal data, the number of fatal car crashes decreased in 2019 over 2018, yet it appears they significantly increased in 2020, a year in which fewer drivers were on the road because of COVID-19. Why?

In December 2020 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a review of car and commercial truck accidents for 2019 (“Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2019”). It provided some good news.

There were fewer motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019 compared to 2018.  Nearly 37,000 people died in car and truck accidents, which represented a 2 ...

We welcome in 2021 with additional warnings on the dangers of unsafe commercial trucks.

There are numerous causes of fatal big rig crashes, many of which focus on unsafe and careless behavior by professional truckers, including:

·         Speeding

·         Driving while fatigued

·         Lane swerving

·         Driving distracted

·         Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

However, another frequent, and unrecognized cause, of catastrophic 18-wheeler accidents is unsafe tractor-trailers with serious, life threatening mechanical defects that make them dangerous to other drivers and passengers on ...

December is a month of holiday-related parties and festive gatherings, with alcohol consumption a common trait.  That is why for almost 40 years December has been deemed “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month." This year’s holiday celebrations may be muted because of COVID-19. But that does not in any way diminish the very real and present danger of drunk driving and drivers under the influence of drugs.

In June the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its most recent report on fatal drunk-driving crashes in Missouri and the other 49 states. Some of the ...

The findings of a fatal car crash federal investigation followed by new research warns of a threat that will certainly only grow more widespread in the future: distracted drivers relying too heavily on technology. In February of this year the National Transportation Safety Board announced the findings of its investigation into a 2018 California car crash that killed one person.  The person who died was the driver of a car on “autopilot.” The car crashed into a concrete median barrier, killing the driver.

Causes of Fatal Car Accident

The NTSB’s investigation determined there ...

The federal government’s new tool to keep truck drivers on drugs off the road may not be working so well. It took an act of Congress but it finally happened: there now is a way to track commercial truckers who have driven drunk or high on illegal drugs. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rolled out its Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in January 2020.  This is a database that trucking companies and law enforcement can access to see if a trucker has had any drunk or drugged-driving violations.

Fatigued Truck Drivers

Semi-truck drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose ...

Per the federal government’s most recent final statistics, 5,000 people were killed in the United States in commercial truck crashes in 2018. A preliminary accounting of 2019 fatal motor vehicle accidents has this number repeating last year. Why do serious truck crashes and fatal truck accidents continue to hold steady, while total fatal motor vehicle crashes have fallen in recent years? A report issued over the summer provides some insights.

Driver Errors and Big-Rig Crashes

The 2006 federal research, “Large Truck Crash Causation Study,” found driver error the leading ...

Safety technology in passenger cars and SUVs has been widely adopted and expanded in recent years.  But its effectiveness may ultimately rely on the particular driver using it.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a not-for-profit organization focused on reducing fatal traffic crashes, has this year alone published the findings of three studies looking into the relationship between drivers and advanced safety technology.

Drivers Who Don’t Understand Computerized Technology

The first, released in June, focused on how the driver’s knowledge and understanding of the ...

The total number of people in the United States killed in all types of motor vehicle accidents has decreased in recent years. But the number of people who died in crashes with commercial trucks has not.

This month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its accounting of fatal traffic accidents for 2019 (“Preview of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2019”). It compares deaths in 2018 and 2019.  In 2018 36,835 people died in all manner of traffic accidents.  That number fell to 36,096 in 2019, a drop of 2%.

The report breaks down fatal crashes in numerous ...

Truck drivers caught speeding show there are an alarming number of unsafe commercial truck drivers on the road today, an assertion backed up by hard evidence uncovered over one week earlier this summer.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a not-for-profit group of law enforcement and transportation safety officials throughout North America.  The CVSA’s focus is to make commercial transportation – semi-trucks and motor coaches – safer and the driving public less vulnerable to negligent operators.

In July the group held its annual Operation Safe Driver Week, a highly ...

There are proven measures to prevent one type of serious big rig accidents.  But could the reason the trucking industry would not widely adopt them be money?

One of the most catastrophic commercial truck crashes is when the tractor-trailer rear ends a car.  Often times the car that it is hit by a commercial truck pinballs into other vehicles.  These multi-vehicle wrecks caused by an 18-wheeler can leave a wake of serious personal injuries and fatalities.

Crashes Caused by Inattentive Truck Drivers

Inattentive truckers are often to blame for rear-end crashes.  The failure by a truck driver ...

Driving a big commercial tractor-trailer can be hard work.  Hauling a rig weighing up to 80,000 pounds for hours with no rest can physically and mentally tax just about anyone. So when it comes to being an unsafe trucker, which plays a bigger role – age or inexperience?

A study from earlier this year sought to answer that question.

In April the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released the study (“Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Risk Based on Age and Driving Experience”), citing a dire shortage of commercial truck drivers. The shortage is largely due to retiring older ...

According to a new study, paid for by the trucking industry, there may be over a quarter of a million commercial truck drivers using illegal or illicit drugs.

When are Commercial Truck Drivers Tested for Drug Use?

Per federal rules big rig truckers must be randomly tested for drugs.  Truckers subject to these tests include those who haul rigs weighing more than 26,000 pounds.  Truck driver drug testing is required under several other conditions, including:

·         Pre-employment: truck drivers must have a negative drug test prior to starting a new job

·         Following an accident: following any ...

This week law enforcement is fanning out across the country to find and stop dangerous commercial truck drivers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance this week is conducting its annual Operation Safe Driver Week. It began July 12 and concludes July 18.  The CVSA is an organization of law officials and safety experts throughout North America focused on making commercial trucking safer and preventing fatal truck crashes.

In announcing this year’s campaign, the CVSA noted that although there are fewer drivers on America’s roads due to the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s ...

With fewer drivers on the road, the number of people killed in car crashes continues to climb in Missouri.

Among the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic since March is less crowded roadways. More people can’t or are reluctant to leave their homes due to the potential for infection, which translates into fewer people driving in Missouri and all across the country.

Yet, in June the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents statewide is up some 11% compared to this time last year. By early July the MSHP revised that to a 13 ...

St. Louis has more distracted drivers than just about anywhere in the United States.  In fact, only two metropolitan areas are home to more than the Gateway to the West.

Distracted driving remains a major cause of fatal car crashes.  In its most recent report on distracted driving (Distracted Driving 2018), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in  April stated that 2,841 people died in distracted-affected crashes.

In another study, conducted in January, an automobile insurance internet portal called The Zebra provides a further look at distracted drivers. The company ...

Of the countless events either cancelled or postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one is the 2020 International Roadcheck conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.  It is an annual three-day set of random roadside inspections of commercial trucks.  This year’s event was to be held in May but was postponed indefinitely.

Law enforcement and safety officials would have pulled over thousands of tractor-trailers and conducted thorough inspections of their rigs to uncover unsafe and dangerous commercial trucks.

Judging by last year’s results, let alone all ...

New data show that, while overall deaths from traffic accidents continue to decline, fatal commercial trucking accidents continue to increase.  Yet the trucking industry puts up roadblocks over proposed measures to increase commercial trucking safety.

In October 2019, the federal government reported the number people killed in motor vehicle crashes dropped 2.4% from 2018 to 2017 – 913 fewer deaths. This month, the federal government published a preliminary approximation of fatalities for 2019 (“Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2019”), which ...

Despite fewer cars on Missouri’s roads because of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of fatal car crashes in the Show-Me State is up over the previous year.

In April the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Missouri’s fatal motor vehicle crashes were up 4% over the year prior. According to statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, that trend continued into May, with the number of people killed in Missouri car wrecks up 5% compared to the same time in May 2019.

That same Post-Dispatch story documented another trend related to COVID-19: With less traffic on the road, there ...

Add one more event mothballed because of the COVID-19 pandemic: A nationwide effort to find truckers who are driving carelessly.

This month was supposed to be National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  It was shelved.  Truckers who are driving distracted was one focus of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck, scheduled for May 5-7.  The CVSA in late March announced it was postponing this safety event.

The CVSA is a nonprofit organization of safety and law enforcement officials whose mission is to make trucking safer throughout North America.  One way ...

April was supposed to be National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  But as with so many other things in today’s world, this 30-day educational effort for one of the most dangerous and negligent driving behaviors has been postponed. Despite there being fewer cars on the road for the time being, distracted driving still poses an especially high risk to others in Missouri.

Missouri a “Worst State” for Distracted Driving

Missouri is one of the “top” states for distracted driving. analyzed several sources of data, including statistics from the National ...

Federal Hours of Service rules dictate how long commercial truck drivers can be on the road and impose mandatory rest periods. The rules, enacted December 2017, addressed the significant number of fatal truck accidents involving fatigued truck drivers.

The trucking industry generally objected to these rules and the federal government listened.  On March 2, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration submitted changes to the Hours of Service rules – labeled a Final Rule – to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The FMCSA has not provided details to the proposed ...

St. Louis has a higher rate of people killed in traffic accidents involving speeding drivers than most every other U.S. city. In a recently released survey, only six cities in the country rated higher for speeding deaths as a percentage of all fatal car crashes between 2013 and 2017.  Only two of those cities are bigger, population-wise, than St. Louis: Cleveland and Washington, D.C.

Compare Auto Insurance, an online automobile insurance resource site, examined historical data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and determined that St. Louis has among the worst ...

Nearly one out of every four commercial truck drivers says they received inadequate training when they started work.

That’s per a recent survey conducted by Stay Metrics, a company that provides training tools to the trucking industry.  The private research (“First Impression Survey,”), made available last December, purports that 24% of big rig drivers feel their orientation training was lacking.

Some of this orientation deals with company-specific policies.  But a large portion of the inadequate truck driver training has to do with federal rules and regulations ...

As the number of people killed in commercial truck accidents continues to climb, some in the trucking industry continue to decry measures aimed at preventing fatal tractor-trailer crashes.

Safety measures have taken hold for passenger vehicles, both in terms of onboard technology features and drivers acting more cautiously.  The results are evident; U.S. fatal motor vehicle crashes have steadily fallen in recent years.

The same is not true for the nation’s commercial trucking sector.  In the last 10 years are so, deadly big rig accidents have trended upward.

Despite all of this ...

Based on the number of truck drivers who failed drug tests last year, the federal government is increasing the number of mandated drug tests for truckers this year.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced late December 2019 that it is doubling the rate of random drug tests for commercial truck driver beginning this year.  As of January 1, 2020, the minimum rate of random truck driver drug testing jumped from the previous 25% to 50%.

The decision to dramatically raise the rate of testing for truckers under the influence of illegal drugs was mandated by federal ...

A time posing a great risk for fatal drunk-driving crashes – New Year’s Eve – has passed. While the number of drunk-driving accidents that occurred that night has yet been reported, we do have new data that shows alcohol-impaired drivers remain a year-round serious threat.

Last month the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued a report on drunk driving for 2018, the most recent year for finalized data. “Alcohol-Impaired Driving,” paints a vivid picture on the dire consequences of this careless driving behavior.

As reported by the federal ...

We have become a country of phone-addicted people.  And nowhere is this more true – and more dangerous – than on our nation’s roads. Some estimates place the amount of people driving while on their cell phones as high as 80 percent.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is when Zendrive released its 2019 research (“Public Enemy No. 1”) on distracted driving. This is the third consecutive year that the data tech and mobile app company has studied distracted drivers, and it reports that distracted driving continues to worsen year after year.

The study coins ...

It’s one step forward and likely one step back in terms of preventing catastrophic truck crashes in this country.

On December 17, the electronic logging device mandate goes into full effect.  On that day, all appropriate commercial truckers must record their hours of service – time spent on the road – in computerized devices.

How does this help prevent fatal commercial truck accidents?  Electronic logging devices should do a better job keeping dangerously tired truck drivers off the road than the previous process.

Truckers Avoiding Driving Hours Regulations

Prior to the ELD ...

Apparently there are a growing number of commercial truck drivers speeding, and many today barreling down the highway with bad brakes.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of speeding truckers is on a distinctly upward trend.  Speeding tickets (federal and state) given to commercial truck drivers in the United States jumped 7.8% in 2018 over 2017.  And 2017 saw a 1.1% increase in truck driver speeding violations over the year prior, with 2016 nearly a 10% hike compared to 2015.

Rise in Speeding Tickets Given to Commercial Truck Drivers

All totaled ...

Walkers, bike riders and those in crashes with commercial trucks all had something tragic in common in 2018: more of them died in traffic accidents than the year prior.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its report on fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2018. While there was some good news – an overall drop in traffic fatalities of 2.4% over 2017 – it has to be put into some perspective.  The NHTSA reports that even with that drop 36,560 people died in car crashes and commercial truck accidents in 2018.

According to the NHTSA, bicyclist deaths increased ...

Trucking industry representatives may argue they place the safety of other drivers as a priority.  However, their own actions tell a different story.

In September, 30-plus trucking organizations and lobbyists combined to attack public safety measures.  The largest was the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a lobbying group that includes independent truckers as well as those who work for companies.

The OOIDA-led effort was outlined in a letter addressed to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and to the House of Representatives ...

Data from the federal government show that the number of people killed in Missouri car crashes declined just a bit.  The bad news is that despite this minor retrench, more than 900 Missourians died in motor vehicle accidents in one year.

In August the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report on fatal traffic wrecks for 2017.  This is the most recent year for which the NHTSA has final data.  That year, U.S. traffic deaths fell some 2% compared to 2016.

Over 900 People Killed a Year in Missouri Traffic Accidents

After a 9% rise in motor vehicle accident deaths in 2016 ...

After finding 12,000 commercial trucks with bad brakes and other serious maintenance issues earlier this summer, the same safety group handed out tickets to almost 1,500 speeding truck drivers just a few weeks later.

In June the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted its annual roadside inspections of tractor-trailers throughout the United States and Canada.  The CVSA is a consortium of law enforcement agencies and other organizations focused on making commercial truck travel safer. In a three-day period in early June, the CVSA inspected 67,072 semis as part of its effort to ...

In just three days this past summer more than 12,000 commercial tractor-trailers were taken off the road because they needed serious repairs.

Each year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a three-day event of commercial truck roadside inspections in the United States and Canada.  The CVSA is a not-for-profit consortium of safety and law enforcement officials.  The group’s goal is to make commercial truck transportation safer.

This year’s event, called International Roadcheck and held June 4-6, is one annual step toward reaching that goal.  It’s significant ...

According to the “Large Truck Crash Causation Study,” the federal government’s most exhaustive research into fatal tractor-trailer accidents, the leading cause of such crashes is driver error. But another major contributor is improperly maintained commercial trucks, which recently was proven a common condition on today’s roads.

Driver Error Causing Fatal Tractor-Trailer Accidents

That federal study attributed nearly nine out of 10 fatal commercial truck crashes to a driver mistake or negligent action.  These included:

·         Driver falling asleep

·         Driver inattentive

·         ...

Nearly two out of every five drivers in the United States believe it’s perfectly fine to use a hand-held cell phone while driving.

That’s according to the 2018 “Traffic Safety Culture Index” released in June by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  AAA Foundation annually surveys drivers across the country to establish a snapshot of driver thinking, beliefs and actions.

The good news is that most drivers support laws that restrict texting while driving.  The bad news is that a significant portion still believe it is okay for them to drive while using a cellphone.

One key finding ...

Despite evidence that shows fatal commercial truck accidents are increasing, federal officials appear to be bending to the trucking industry’s financial interests by diluting an important public safety measure.

The safety measure is a relatively new set of federal rules designed to stop one of the leading causes of deadly truck crashes – fatigued truck drivers.

In June the U.S. Department of Transportation released a preliminary estimate of motor vehicle fatalities for 2018. The report projected that deaths in big rig crashes will rise 3 percent in 2018 over 2017, which will ...

According to a new survey, there are today hundreds of thousands of commercial truck drivers who would fail a drug test or would refuse to take one for fear of failing.

The report, which warns that some 300,000 truckers may be under the influence of illegal drugs, comes from the Trucking Alliance, a group of trucking companies that is focused on improving safety and preventing fatal truck crashes.

Federal law mandates the drug testing of commercial truck drivers.  It only compels trucking companies to use urine testing.  Hair testing is commonly accepted as a more stringent test and a ...

The cost for commercial truck repairs is on the rise, which may be bad news for drivers who share the road with big rigs.

There are several causes for catastrophic truck crashes.  The most common, according to the federal government’s “Large Truck Causation Study,” is driver error.  Trucker mistakes that lead to fatal truck accidents include speeding, distracted driving, and fatigue caused by driving beyond the legal limits set by federal law.

Another common cause for commercial truck accidents is poorly maintained rigs.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a ...

Watch for motorcycles.

That’s the theme for a month-long campaign from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.  It’s the Show Me State’s complement to May’s National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, an effort to reduce the country’s fatal motorcycle crashes as the weather gets warmer and more bikers hit the road.

In 2017, the most recent national statistics, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of about 13 percent since 2014.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reports that 107 motorcyclists died in Missouri in 2018. Of ...

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

If you were driving while you read that, there’s a chance you may have caused a crash.

The facts are indisputable: distracted drivers are a menace, causing a growing number of fatal car crashes.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent statistics, 3,166 people in this country were killed in distracted-driving accidents in 2017.

But that number could be low.  The National Safety Council says that fatal distracted driving crashes are likely underreported as few states capture data following traffic ...

Commercial truck drivers and their big rigs are supposed to undergo inspections on a regular basis.  Inspections cover a trucker’s medical records and training, as well as truck mechanical defects that can cause fatal truck crashes.  With over 4,700 people killed in commercial truck accidents in 2017, such crashes occur far too often.

The most serious inspection violations are called “out-of-service” violations. Truckers and rigs given out-of-service violations are grounded until the issues are fixed.

In March the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced changes to ...

As fatal motor vehicle crashes rise in this country, it’s not just drivers and passengers who are dying.  The number of U.S. pedestrians killed in traffic accidents are now at historic levels.

From 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian deaths in the country increased 35 percent, with nearly 6,000 walkers killed in 2017.  According to the federal government, more than 16 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents each day in that year.

This month the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration published its newest edition of “Traffic Safety Facts for 2017” (the ...

Already this year, 131 people in Missouri have died in motor vehicle crashes. In 2018, more than 900 people were killed in Missouri fatal traffic accidents. According to latest data from the federal government, Missouri’s roadway fatality rate per 100,000 people in 2017 was well above the national average. And has been since at least 2013.

What are the most common causes for fatal car crashes in Missouri?

One of the fastest growing causes is distracted driving.  Fatal driver distractions are found in many forms – talking with passengers, eating or drinking behind the wheel ...

Electronic logging devices that record truckers’ working hours were legally mandated in December 2017 in an effort to reduce fatal truck crashes.  While more commercial truckers are now adhering to federal hours of service rules, more apparently are engaging in other risky driving behaviors and so the number of catastrophic trucking accidents hasn’t fallen.

Fatigued truckers can cause serious crashes.  That’s why the maximum hours they can work during the week – as well as rest periods – are limited by federal law.  Until late 2017, commercial truck drivers recorded their ...

Speed kills.

Speeding accounted for 37 percent of the people killed in Missouri motor vehicle accidents in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.  Only eight other states had more traffic deaths due to speeding drivers than Missouri that year.  Illinois, at 42 percent, was one of them.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, a consortium of state safety officials, recently published a report on the dangers of speeding drivers, “Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge.”  Nationwide, according to the GHSA report, 26 percent of ...

Research and investigative evidence have shown that driver error is the leading cause of fatal truck crashes.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency responsible for regulating the safety of the U.S. trucking industry, updated its safety tips to commercial truck drivers last fall on its website.  These tips only amplify the fact that careless big rig driver action can turn deadly.

Distracted Commercial Truck Driver

The first tip is to pay attention to the road ahead.  Unfortunately, when truckers are distracted and lose focus on traffic, too often calamity ...

More than nine out of every 10 people who died in 2017 U.S. transportation accidents were killed in highway fatal motor vehicle crashes.

In November, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a snapshot report on last year’s deaths in railroad, aviation, waterway and motor vehicle accidents.  In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died in accidents involving these modes of transportation.  Highway deaths accounted for 37,133 fatalities – 95 percent of all U.S. transportation deaths that year.

Fatal Commercial Truck Crashes Increased

The NTSB broke down highway deaths even ...

It stands to reason that people who are tired are dangerous drivers and more likely to cause crashes.  Now there’s proof.

A study released in October provides a cause and effect relationship between fatigued drivers and motor vehicle crashes.  The study, titled “Acute Sleep Deprivation and Culpable Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement” and published in the October 2018 issue of the journal Sleep, examines the ultimate consequences of sleep-deprived drivers.

Researchers reviewed 5,470 motor vehicle accidents and interviewed the drivers involved, asking them to recount their ...

There is one thing to not be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

According to numerous studies, Thanksgiving is the one holiday period each year in which most deadly car crashes usually occur.  That’s because around that time is when we typically see a jump in dangerous and negligent drivers.

We may see even more drivers than usual on the road this Thanksgiving holiday. AAA forecasts that this will be the busiest driving Thanksgiving period since 2005, with 48.5 million people traveling via automobile between November 21 and November 25.

Careless Drivers Who Cause Accidents

More cars and ...

Driver error has been documented as the leading cause of serious commercial truck accidents.  But mechanical problems, such as defective truck brakes, were recently shown to be another major issue.

The most comprehensive research done on fatal truck accidents was conducted by the federal government over 10 years ago.  The “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” reviewed data and reports of nearly 1,000 deadly truck crashes to identify potential causes.

Driver Error and Poor Truck Maintenance Leading Causes of Fatal Truck Crashes

The study identified driver error as the number one ...

What are the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes and what can be done to prevent them? The federal government has some answers.

Earlier this year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report that identified dangerous driving behaviors responsible for crashes.  The report, “Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Ninth Edition” also contains recommendations for limiting reckless driving.

Fatal Crashes Caused by Drunk Drivers

In a separate report on U.S. fatal motor vehicle crashes for ...

The number of people killed in truck crashes jumped 16 percent in 2017 over the year prior.  A recent event may point to one cause for this increase.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its findings for motor vehicle crashes in the United States for 2017.  According to the NHTSA, 37,133 people died in fatal motor vehicle crashes last year, which is a small overall decrease compared to 2016 fatal car, motorcycle and truck crashes.

In 2017, the number of deadly accidents involving all types of motor vehicles – passenger cars, light trucks, motorcycles ...

Two out every 10 commercial tractor-trailers recently were found to have safety violations so dangerous they were taken off the road.  And a significant number of truck drivers had serious safety violations as well.

These are the results from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadside Inspection event held in June 2018.  The CVSA, a coalition of safety and law enforcement officials in the United States and Canada, released this year’s results of the annual three-day event on September 12.

Certified examiners inspected big rigs, conducting Level I, II and ...

According to the most recent federal numbers, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children 10 and 11 years old, and for young adults ages 16 through 23.

In August the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – the federal agency whose mission includes preventing fatal car crashes – published its “Traffic Safety Facts” for 2016.  This is the latest in the agency’s annual look at serious motor vehicle accidents in the United States.

According to the NHTSA, nearly 37,500 people were killed in a motor vehicle crash in 2016; that’s 102 people every ...

It’s common-sense speculation that reckless truck drivers are the most likely to cause accidents.  There is new evidence to back up this assumption.

Truck Driver Crash Predictor

The American Transportation Research Institute is a nonprofit organization that conducts transportation-related research.  It has a tool called the Crash Predictor Model that projects the chances which truck drivers will be involved in crashes based on their driving behaviors.  Earlier this summer the ATRI updated this research and announced its new findings as to which truck drivers are most likely to ...

An aging truck driver population and a boom in online shopping may be setting the stage for a rise in fatal truck accidents now and in the years ahead.

Both of these factors have created a big need for truck drivers. According to the American Trucking Associations – the industry’s leading lobbying group – there is a now shortage of some 63,000 truck drivers.  That gap is projected to widen to 174,000 truckers in eight years.

The median age of truck drivers today is 49. More truckers are retiring or finding other work than there are new drivers replacing them. The need for additional truck ...

We’re well past the halfway point in the summer vacation session for most Missouri schools.  Soon enough busloads of students will be on the road again in the early morning and late afternoon.

Thankfully, school bus transportation is a relatively safe mode of travel. But a recent investigation of two fatal school bus crashes warns of negligent actions that can lead to such tragedies anywhere and anytime.

In May, the National Transportation Safety Board released the findings of its investigation into two school bus crashes; one in Baltimore, Md. and the other in Chattanooga, Tenn.  A ...


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