Commercial truck drivers in Connecticut should know that inspectors nationwide will be out enforcing brake safety guidelines from September 16 to 22. This is part of Brake Safety Week, an annual event held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as a way to ensure that truck drivers routinely inspect and maintain their brakes.
From June 5 to 7, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held the International Roadcheck where traffic safety organizations and police officers across the nation ramped up enforcement of bus and commercial truck safety guidelines. Drivers in Connecticut, even if they don't operate buses or trucks, may want to know what the most common safety violations were.
In Connecticut, accidents that involve large trucks have the potential to be especially catastrophic. A recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that these types of accidents increased in 2016 over the number of truck accidents that occurred in 2015.
Distracted driving accidents in Connecticut and around the country are often blamed on cellphone use or the sophisticated entertainment and navigation systems offered by many auto manufacturers, but studies suggest that a disturbing number of motorists crash while lost in thought. Accidents involving distracted drivers are especially dangerous when commercial vehicles weighing up to 40 tons are involved, but technology is being developed by several fleet management firms to reduce these risks.
The Road to Zero coalition believes that traffic deaths can be completely eliminated by the year 2050. While the safety advocacy group acknowledges that this sounds like an ambitious goal, it offers several ways to make Connecticut roads safer. Among the recommendations in its April 22 report is an increased effort on seat belt compliance.
Some Connecticut residents are seriously injured when they are involved in accidents with large trucks. Because some of these accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue, the federal government issued the electronic logging device mandate.
Commercial truck drivers in Connecticut and across the U.S. are aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration currently regulates service hours around a 14-hour daily clock. The agency requires all truck drivers to take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours and does not allow the 14-hour clock to stop.
Overloaded trucks can pose a serious safety hazard for people on Connecticut roadways. Every year, overloaded trucks are a major cause of trucking accidents that cause harm and injuries to truck drivers as well as others on the road. This is because the addition of an unbalanced or overweight load increases the chance that the driver will lose control of the truck and be unable to stop it from crashing. Excessive loads can also be more likely to shift during operation, leading to improper distribution and an increased risk of rollover during lane changes or sharp turns.
On the roads of Connecticut, drivers will find themselves on occasion near an 18-wheeler. Cars can be as much of an inconvenience to truckers as the other way around, so drivers should give truckers space when passing, let them turn into their lane without speeding up, and stay away from them when they make their wide turns.
Connecticut truck drivers may be interested in learning about a federal proposal that could force them to live closer to their jobs. The Federal Motor Carrier Administration wants to study the commuting habits of commercial truck drivers as it is worried about excessive commuting by truckers. The agency defines excessive commuting as more than 150 minutes of drive time between home and work.