Law enforcement agencies in both the United States and Canada recently participated in “Operation Safe Driver Week” in an effort to increase driver awareness about some of the most common unsafe driving behaviors. Law enforcement agencies not only increased their enforcement efforts during this week but also participated in campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of unsafe driving behaviors. Sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the goal of Operation Safe Driver Week was to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by commercial truck accidents.
Unsafe driver behavior remains the leading cause of large truck accident fatalities. Data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that 3,852 deaths resulted from large truck crashes in 2015. Occupants of passenger vehicles that collided with trucks made up 69 percent of all fatalities. The vast majority of both large truck and passenger vehicles crashes are caused directly by driver behavior. Large truck crash causation studies, including a study done by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, have concluded that 88 percent of all large truck crashes are the result of unsafe driver behavior.
Data gained during Operation Safe Driver Week (which ran from October 15 to October 21, 2017) revealed the most frequently occurring unsafe driving behaviors. State and local law enforcement agencies issued over 38,000 warnings or citations to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and over 20,000 warnings or citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
Unsafe driving behaviors that resulted in traffic warnings and/or citations for commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers or other heavy duty trucks included moving violations, speeding, failing to use a seatbelt, failing to obey traffic control devices, using a handheld phone, equipping their truck with illegal radar detectors, inattentive or careless driving and operating vehicles while sick or fatigued. The vast majority of the citations (84.2 percent) could be categorized as state or local moving violations. Moving violations could include the following types of driving behavior: following too closely to another vehicle, failing to yield to other vehicles, not driving within the proper lane or on the shoulder, failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks or for school buses, failing to properly secure loads and even reckless driving.
Passenger vehicle drivers were cited for similar violations including speeding, failure to use a seat belt, failure to obey traffic signals, and improper lane changes. Drivers of passenger vehicles were much more likely to be cited for speeding (43.5 percent of all citations) than CMV drivers (7.4 percent of all citations).
If you have been seriously injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Wilmington truck accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A., can help you get the answers you need and the compensation you deserve. We have two conveniently located offices in Wilmington and Georgetown to serve clients in upstate and downstate, including those in Dover, Delaware. Call us today to schedule your free confidential consultation with one of our seasoned Wilmington truck accident lawyers at 302-656-5445 or contact us online.