A total of 4,102 people died in truck crashes in 2017, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).[1] The majority of those people (82 percent) were occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists.[2] The most common fatal injury in trucking accidents is being crushed by falling in the exposed space between the front and rear wheels of a truck.[3] According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck crashes are more likely to be side impact crashes.[4] In fact, between 2005 and 2009, 556 pedestrians and bicyclists in the U.S. were killed after side-impacts with trucks.[5]

Lives can be saved by implementing measures to help prevent side-impacts with trucks. One such measure is the installation of side guards on trucks with high ground clearance. A number of studies conducted in the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, and the Netherlands show that side guards dramatically decrease the number of fatalities in trucking accidents.[6] After truck side guards were mandated in the U.K., cyclist fatalities dropped 61 percent and pedestrian fatalities dropped 20 percent for side-impact accidents.[7]


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The trucking industry, through the American Trucking Association (ATA), submitted a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), requesting a determination that the state of California’s meal and rest break rules are pre-empted by federal law. In response, 19 Democratic members of the House of Representatives and the Senate have “strongly” urged the DOT to deny said petition.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released their annual Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) numberson October 3rd 2018, which shows that roadway fatalities were down 2 percent year-over-year in 2017. In spite of this, the NHTSA warned that this decrease did not necessarily indicate “an across-the-board trend.”

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The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has submitted comments in response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking for hours-of-service (HOS) for commercial truck drivers. The rulemaking process was first announced at the end of August 2018, when the FMCSA declared that they would be reviewing the existing HOS regulations which limit the total operating hours a commercial truck driver works on duty.

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According to the U.S. federal government statistics, over 4,300 people have been killed in crashes involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks in 2016, which is a 28 percent increase over 2009. Fatal truck crashes are growing at almost three times the rate of deadly crashes overall in the U.S. For years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has supported life-saving legislation that would require all heavy trucks to be equipped with crash-avoidance technology.

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A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that truck safety technologies can prevent as many as 77,077 crashes, 23,275 injuries, and the loss of 500 lives per year. The report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains, examined the safety benefits and costs of installing four advanced safety technologies in existing and new large trucks.

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September 9-15, 2018 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, according to the American Trucking Association (AMA). This week-long commemoration is held every September, and was selected to honor professional truck drivers for all their hard work and commitment assisting American businesses across the country. According to the AMA, there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., all of whom are working diligently to deliver products safely, securely, and on time across our nation.

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A USA Today investigation has shown that port trucking companies frequently put out “hundreds of impaired drivers on the road” who are driving with little to no sleep. This is in clear violation of federal safety regulations, and puts thousands of fellow drivers at risk every day.

Technically, there is currently no accurate tracking system available to track commercial truck movements nationwide. USA Today instead worked with publicly available information to build a tracking system after the fact.


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Due in part to concerns about potential implementation of conflicting state rules governing automated and connected trucks, the American Trucking Association (ATA) recently endorsed its first comprehensive policy on automated trucks and related emerging technologies. The ATA’s new policy discusses safety, the respective roles of the federal and state governments, uniformity across state lines, infrastructure, and education.

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Trucking companies are not always notified when a driver is arrested for drugs.

For example, recently, a truck driver was arrested after police found him unconscious in his rig. He admitted that he had used heroin. Because he was not in the cab with the keys in the ignition, he was not charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Although he was charged with disorderly conduct while intoxicated, the trucking company that employed him was not informed of the charge, nor was the state that issued his commercial driver’s license.

Ten days later, he renewed his CDL. A couple of weeks after that, he jackknifed his rig, after overdosing on heroin. Emergency workers used naloxone to revive him.


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