Commercial truck drivers in Connecticut and the rest of the United States may soon be able to drive longer without having to stop to rest, as the Department of Transportation intends to relax its regulations. This change is something that has been pursued by the trucking industry for some time. However, safety advocates advise that such a move will result in weakened regulations and the occurrences of safety hazards from sleep-deprived truck drivers.
The urge to be as productive as possible has contributed to the problem of distracted driving on roads in Connecticut and other states. According to a AAA study, 88% of respondents said that they felt that distracted driving was becoming an increasing problem. In many cases, drivers feel as if they won't become a victim of distracted driving. Therefore, it is important for employers to use science in an effort to help limit distracted driving and its negative consequences.
Passenger vehicle and truck drivers in Connecticut should know about Operation Safe Driver Week, an annual event held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. It is a period of increased enforcement of traffic laws, and it affects all drivers in North America. Drivers caught engaging in dangerous behaviors will be issued a warning or citation.
Connecticut motorists may be concerned to learn that more than 4,100 people were killed in large truck accidents on U.S. roads in 2017, which represents a 28 percent increase over 2009. Of those deaths, 68 percent were the occupants of passenger vehicles, 14 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians and 17 percent were truck occupants.
For many drivers in Connecticut, the threat of a truck accident can be particularly chilling. Drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles face significantly higher risks in a crash involving a semi-truck or 18-wheeler; they are far more likely to face severe injuries or even fatalities. Therefore, safety advocates are urging Congress to pass new legislation that could toughen safety regulations for large trucks on American highways. Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition are seeking a mandate for all heavy trucks to use speed limiters and automatic emergency braking.
Connecticut residents may be interested in federal data showing that in 44 states, there was an increase in big rig truck crash deaths between 2009 and 2017. This means that only six states saw a decrease in accidents of this type.
Commercial truckers in Connecticut, as elsewhere in the U.S., were mandated back in December 2017 to install electronic logging devices on their trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted this move as a way to reduce fatigue-related accidents and save money on paperwork. From that time to Sept. 30, 2018, livestock haulers had a temporary exemption from the ELD mandate.
Motorists in Connecticut know that they need to stay alert while driving. However, many people operate motor vehicles while distracted. This is considered among the most dangerous actions that a motorist can take. To understand why, it's important to know that a person could be visually, cognitively or manually distracted while behind the wheel.
Semis and large trucks were behind 4,300 deaths in 2016, according to federal data. This represents a 28 percent increase from 2009, and as a result, more and more groups are pushing for new federal safety guidelines. Truckers in Connecticut should know that many are especially determined to make crash avoidance systems a requirement on all heavy trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board has been recommending this since in the late 1990s.
Connecticut drivers may be interested in the results of this summer's three-day blitz of commercial vehicle inspections. Agencies from across North America joined forces in an inspection campaign that resulted in over 20 percent of inspected vehicles, which were primarily transport trucks, being taken out of service for safety violations.