One of the most common reasons for injuries and fatalities in California is being involved in an automobile accident. Trucks are often viewed as a significant threat on the road, so it is wise to understand the dangers connected to them. After there has been a crash, this information can also be useful for accident investigations.
Many California residents have heard the sobering statistics about drunk driving related deaths. In the United States 30 people on average die every day in automobile accidents where the driver was drunk. This means approximately one person dies every 48 minutes.
California residents who are involved in a truck accident should know that such accidents normally arise for one of five reasons. The first is driver error, and this cuts both ways. In fact, studies show that as much as 81% of all truck crashes involving driver error can be pinned on passenger vehicle drivers, not truckers. It's no secret, though, that truckers, pressed as they are by deadlines. often drive drowsy or speed.
According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities resulting from trucking accidents are the highest they've been in 30 years. In 2018, more than 880 occupants of large trucks died in accidents on roadways throughout California and the rest of the United States. A significantly higher number of individuals died as drivers or passengers in other vehicles involved in accidents with large trucks.
California is known for its congested freeways that are often the scene of motor vehicle crashes. While the number of fatal car accidents has declined in the past two years, the bad news is that auto-pedestrian accidents are on the increase.
Advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, come with many safety benefits for drivers in California and across the U.S. General Motors conducted a study with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that shows what those benefits are like, and though it is focused on GM vehicles, its results are echoed by other studies. The study involved 3.8 million GM vehicles made between 2013 and 2017.
A report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in 2017, the number of deaths arising from red-light running crashes reached a 10-year high. A total of 939 people in California and across the U.S. were killed in such crashes that year. This also constituted a 28% increase from 2012. Of the victims, just over a third were the offending drivers; the rest were passengers or drivers in the other vehicles.
The regulations that limit the amount of time that truck drivers in California and around the country can spend behind the wheel may soon be relaxed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on Aug. 14 that it plans to publish revised hours of service regulations in the Federal Register. Once published, the public will be given 45 days to submit comments about the changes. Organizations such as the American Trucking Association have welcomed the changes and believe they could improve road safety, but several other advocacy groups oppose relaxed hours of service rules.
The number of deadly accidents involving semi-tractor trailers rose sharply in California and around the country in 2017 according to data gathered by the National Safety Council, and many of these crashes were caused by truck drivers who were distracted, fatigued or impaired. Road safety advocates have long lauded the merits of automatic emergency braking systems, and a bill currently before the House of Representatives Highways and Transit Subcommittee would make the technology mandatory equipment on all commercial vehicles in the United States.
First responders in California and nationwide are at an increased risk of dying in accidents caused by distracted driving, according to a new survey. In 2019, at least 16 emergency workers have been killed by vehicles across the country.