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 unsafe drivers. This year’s focus was on speeding drivers.
Speeding Drivers and Fatal Crashes
There is good reason for this. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month released its latest report on speeding drivers, which covers 2019. According to the report, 26% of fatal motor vehicle crashes that year were speed-related.
Law enforcement officers pulled over dangerous drivers in all three countries during 2021 Operation Safe Driver Week, and provided a report to CVSA. CVSA recently released the report findings.
In the United States alone, police pulled over nearly 24,000 motor vehicle drivers and about 9,400 commercial truck drivers for unsafe driving. They gave those drivers either a ticket or a warning.
The top ticketed dangerous-driving behavior was speeding/driving too fast for conditions:
· Motor vehicle drivers received 6,449 tickets for speeding – more than half of all tickets given to U.S. car drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week
· Speeding truckers were given 1,325 tickets – a little over 40% of all citations that were issued to commercial truck drivers
Distracted Truck Drivers
Distracted driving likewise was a commonly ticketed dangerous driving behavior:
· Passenger car drivers received 480 tickets for distracted driving or using a handheld phone while driving
· Commercial truck drivers who were texting while driving or using a handheld phone were issued 246 tickets
It’s important to note that federal law prohibits commercial truckers from using a handheld cell phone in any fashion while driving.
Other top-five ticketed unsafe behaviors for motor vehicle drivers were:
· Driving under the influence of alcohol
· Improper lane change
For commercial truck drivers, the top five ticketed driver actions also included:
· Failure to obey a traffic control device
· Improper lane change
These two unsafe truck driving behaviors can be the result of driving distracted. And when a fully loaded tractor trailer runs a stoplight or unexpectedly swerves into another lane, the consequences often are fatal for drivers and passengers in other vehicles.
In announcing this year’s results of Operation Safe Driver Week, CVSA noted that 71% of the deaths in commercial truck crashes are occupants of passenger vehicles.
Whether it’s an over-the-road commercial trucker hauling a heavy load or a driver of an SUV, each has the responsibility to act safely at all times behind the wheel. Otherwise, innocent victims may suffer.
If you were seriously injured or had a loved one die in a crash caused by another driver, consult a car accident attorney about pursuing your legal rights to just compensation.
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 October 28, 2021