All drivers in Virginia have good reason to be concerned about truck driver fatigue. When exhausted drivers take the wheel of large commercial trucks, the results can be devastating and even deadly. Because semi trucks have such significant mass and weight, they can cause severe injuries to people in other vehicles in the event of a crash. In addition, the nature of truck driving can lead to exhaustion; drivers often work for long hours, moving over monotonous highways with unchanging scenery.
Virginia drivers may be somewhat safer on the roads than they were in 2015 and 2016, but this may not necessarily hold true if they are in or sharing the road with semi trucks. On Oct. 3, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released figures from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. After an increase in fatalities in 2015 and 2016, there was a decline in 2017, and this trend appears to be holding based on preliminary figures from the first half of 2018. However, fatalities involving larger vehicles are on the rise.
Virginia drivers have been enjoying collision avoidance technology on their vehicles for years. Studies have shown these advanced safety systems reduce motor vehicle accidents and save lives. However, semis and other large trucks are not required to have these technologies, according to a report by The Kansas City Star.
Virginia residents who work in the trucking industry may know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently published a notice of proposed changes to the hours-of-service regulations. These rules determine how long truckers can drive, when they should take breaks and so on. They play an important role in preventing drowsy driving and other dangers.
Distracted driving is becoming more and more common with the increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices. Accidents with distracted drivers can be especially severe in terms of both injuries and vehicle damage. Furthermore, they can leave trucking companies throughout Virginia and the rest of America with delays and insurance claims to deal with. However, new technology may prove to be the solution to this trend.
Truck drivers in Virginia will be glad to know that this state is among the top 10 safest states for those in their industry. This is according to a study from Verizon Connect, a fleet management systems provider. The company analyzed data ranging from October 2015 to September 2017 and recording the driver behaviors of more than 6,200 of its fleet customers; these included small and mid-size businesses with 2 to 200 work trucks, such as big rigs, light vans and pick-ups.
Virginia truck drivers should be on the alert in mid-July. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that Operation Safe Driver Week will take place July 15-21. During the initiative, participating law enforcement officers will be on the patrol for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers who are exhibiting unsafe driving behaviors.
Virginia truck accident victims the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company if they believe that negligence was to blame for the accident. Going through the civil court system can cost victims a lot of time and money, though, which is why they often strive for a settlement out of court.
More than 70 percent of goods moved through Virginia and other states are transported by truck. A company called BlyncSync is looking to make the job of being a trucker safer for all involved. There are about seven million people who are employed by the trucking industry with about half of those employed as drivers. They can work up to 70 hours a week, and there are at least 100,000 crashes per year attributed to sleep-deprived truckers.
Each year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance institutes a three-day campaign of ramped-up truck regulation enforcement. Known as the International Roadcheck, the event involves expanded roadside inspections across Virginia and the rest of the country.