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Risky Driving Behaviors

Texting Driving Female pixlr

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, negligent driving behaviors they will look for include:

·         Speeding

·         Distracted driving

·         Drunk driving

·         Improper lane change

When announcing this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, CVSA noted that recent federal data show a 7% jump in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Speeding drivers will be a particular emphasis this year, as the same federal data reveal a 17% spike in speed-related car crash deaths.

That finalized data is from 2020.  In February of this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released an estimate of fatal motor vehicle crashes for the first nine months of 2021. That report projected a 12% hike in deaths for January through September 2021 compared to the same months the previous year.

That same report shows a projected 8% increase in Missouri’s car crash deaths in 2021 over 2020.

Tired Drivers Who Cause Crashes

NHTSA has a section of its website devoted to “Risky Driving.” The topic is broken down into specific risky driving behaviors that include almost all of the same actions identified by CVSA, as well as others, such as “Drowsy Driving.”

Tired commercial truck drivers are especially dangerous. Drowsy truckers who fall asleep and lose control of their rigs – some weighing as much as 80,000 pounds – can cause catastrophic multi-vehicle accidents.

Federal Hours of Service rules are meant to keep fatigued commercial truck drivers off the road.  They cap how many hours per day and per week over-the-road truckers can spend driving.

Commercial truck drivers are required to enter their driving hours into electronic logging devices.  Law enforcement may check those logs when they stop commercial truck drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week.

The marked increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents provides a good rationale for holding the event.  Results from previous events also indicate the need to stop risky drivers who could cause serious accidents.

Speeding Drivers

Nearly 6,500 U.S. car drivers were ticketed for speeding in last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. Speeding drivers accounted for 70% of all tickets given out to non-commercial drivers.  The other top five ticketed driving behaviors for passenger vehicles included:

·         Distracted driving

·         Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

·         Improper lane change

Speeding was the most commonly cited action by commercial truck drivers in 2021 – 1,325 tickets in all. Other top ticketed commercial truck driver actions were similar to those of passenger vehicle drivers:

·         Texting or talking on a handheld cell phone

·         Improper lane change

·         Failure to obey traffic control device

The documented increase in fatal crashes likely is related to an increase in risky driving. One week this summer may reveal if drivers are continuing to behave recklessly in large numbers.

If you were seriously hurt or if you had a family member die in a crash, an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can investigate whether negligence by another driver was involved.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham, posted in Blog April 27, 2022