In 2018, there were 4,415 fatal large-truck crashes across the U.S., many of which took place in Texas. This represents a 52.6% increase from 2009. As for what has caused this dramatic rise, it can be said to be a combination of new technologies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be analyzing the role that these technologies play in crash numbers and severity.
Some people in Texas might assume that automatic safety systems make driving safer. However, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, they could be making driving more dangerous. The problem is that they seem to lull people into a false sense of security.
Texas residents probably become cautious when driving around trucks, and there is a good reason for this. In the event that a truck collides with a passenger vehicle, it's the occupants of the latter who receive the worst of it. Unfortunately, truckers, trucking companies and truck part manufacturers contribute to many truck accidents every year. Below are five of the most common factors in these accidents.
Passenger cars share the roads in Texas with big rigs and other large trucks that have the potential to cause serious and sometimes fatal accidents. From 2009 to 2017, the federal government reported a 28% rise in truck accident fatalities. Forward crash avoidance technology could have likely prevented some of these tragedies. Since the 1990s, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopt regulations that require heavy trucks to have safety technology.
A study has shown that the number of people who are not sleeping enough is on the rise in Texas and across the country. According to the study, the percentage of respondents who were sleeping seven hours or less each night rose from 30.9% in 2010 to 35.6% by 2018. The professions that were most likely to get too little sleep were military and police, health care assistance and materials transportation. These kinds of jobs often require longer shifts than other jobs.
Truck drivers in Texas are probably familiar with the safety feature called automatic emergency braking, which can apply the brakes in the face of a collision. One system costs about $500 but can save countless lives. Some safety experts have pushed for mandatory AEB use on commercial vehicles, and a newly proposed bill is advancing the same cause.
The Department of Transportation is in the process of loosening the rules that restrict the number of hours truck drivers in Texas and across the country can be on the road. Interest groups and trucking companies have lobbied for more flexible regulations for a long time, and some say the move to relax regulations is evidence of the lobbyists' influence on the Trump administration. Highway safety advocate groups say the changes would weaken the regulations and lead to truckers driving longer and longer days.
Drivers in Texas may be particularly worried about the threat of a truck accident. The size and weight of big rigs mean that any collision involving these vehicles is far more likely to be deadly or devastating for the occupants of smaller passenger cars. One study conducted by a fleet management firm looked for trucking safety issues that most commonly affect truckers. It examined 6,200 trucks between 2015 and 2017, taking note of a range of incidents from fatal collisions to speeding on the roadway and compared the results across states and regions.
Most people in Texas would agree that when they are sleep deprived, it has a negative effect on their efficiency, their attitude and their mood. It is common to hear people say that they find it difficult to concentrate or that they feel grumpy when they are tired. What some people do not fully appreciate is how dangerous it can be to operate a vehicle when they are sleep deprived.
SUVs, smartphones and a spike in the number of people walking are some of the factors that could be presenting increased hazards for pediatricians in Texas and elsewhere in the country. This is the big takeaway from the most recent Governors Highway Safety Association report. Perhaps the most startling statistic is that more than 6,000 people traveling by foot lost their lives in 2018, the highest figure reported since 1990.