Ohio drivers may want to steer clear of commercial trucks when they see them. Federal statistics show that large truck accidents increased between 2015 and 2017. Further, the number of truck-occupant deaths and fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks also spiked over the same period of time.
Between 2009 and 2017, 35,882 people died in large truck crashes. All but six states saw an increase in these fatalities. Ohio drivers who are wondering what can be done about this trend might be interested to hear from Road Safe America. The highway safety non-profit studied the above federal data and found some interesting details.
Over the past decade, truck accidents on Ohio highways and throughout the nation have increased by 20 percent. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) was conducted to see what the root causes of these crashes were. Researchers analyzed 120,000 fatal commercial truck crashes and found that 68,000 were caused by truck driver error. These errors included drivers falling asleep or traveling too fast for road conditions.
Ohio motorists rely on everyone driving safely, including those behind the wheel of commercial trucks. When accidents include big rigs that weigh 80,000 pounds, the damage and injuries can be severe. For this reason, truck driver training programs have made safe driving a higher priority than the past. A community college instructor with over 10 years of truck driving experience said that a typical tractor-trailer needs the length of two football fields to stop in dry road conditions. He said that truck driver training failed to focus on safety in the past.
Truckers and truck fleet owners in Ohio should know that more than 4,300 people died in large truck accidents in 2016. This was a 28 percent increase from 2009, according to federal data. These findings have even caught the attention of several members of Congress, who may prompt action to improve truck safety.