Road users in Mississippi and around the country are protected against fatigued truck drivers by hours of service regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The rules place strict limits on how long truck drivers can remain on the road before ending their shifts or taking a break, but it now appears that they will soon be relaxed by the Department of Transportation.
Besides driver error, there are four common causes of large truck accidents in Mississippi. It is important to know what they are because truck crashes usually end in severe injuries or death for those who are in passenger vehicles. The average car weighs about 4,000 pounds while the average big rig weighs 80,000 pounds.
For some people in Mississippi, being in a motor vehicle accident with a truck may cause more complications than being in one with a car. One reason is because the size of a semi-truck can mean an accident causes more damage. This size also means that if the vehicles remain on the highway after an accident, they might be more likely to cause additional accidents.
Mississippi residents, including truck, bus and other commercial vehicle drivers, should be careful how they drive, especially during the week of July 14 to 20. The reason is that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be holding its annual Operation Safe Driver Week at that time. This is a period of increased enforcement of traffic laws.
Mississippi residents know how dangerous it can be to drive around large trucks. From 2009 to 2017, there was a 28 percent increase in the number of large truck crash fatalities. Of the 4,102 victims in 2017, 68 percent were occupants of cars, and 14 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. Rear-end accidents are especially common; incidentally, they are the most devastating but also the most easily avoided with the right technology.
It is important for both truck and passenger car drivers to protect their safety while on Mississippi roads. An accident that occurred on Interstate 75 in Florida was caused by a commercial truck driver colliding with a Honda. This was according to the Florida Highway Patrol, and there was no reason given as to why the driver left his lane. After colliding with the Honda, the commercial truck crashed through a median.
There are several ways that a Mississippi truck accident differs from a car collision. Starting with the most obvious, truck accidents tend to result in more severe property damage and physical injuries. The weight of a commercial truck being so great, the force of its impact will often leave a passenger vehicle beyond repair.
Mississippi citizens benefit from the services provided by the nation's truckers. Literally running 24/7 to deliver products across the country, truck drivers and the trucking industry form an important part of the American economy. Like any business, however, there are challenges to maintain performance standards while attempting to expand market share and increase profitability. One such challenge for the industry is truck driver safety. Not only is this relevant to a business' bottom line, but it also impacts motorists who share the roads.
In recent years, there have been several efforts made to use technology and increased awareness of driver fatigue to reduce truck-related accidents in Mississippi and throughout the rest of U.S. Truck drivers are also now required to electronically log their hours. However, accidents involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks are still on the rise. The number of dump truck accidents involving serious accidents spiked nearly 3 percent, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).
Drivers and other professionals working within the trucking industry in Mississippi have increasing access to trucks equipped with safety technology. Systems installed that monitor truck and driver performance and analyze the data have shown a promising ability to reduce crash rates for trucking companies. A representative from a trucking company that had deployed a video monitoring system reported a significant decrease in accidents or near accidents as well as a rise in safety scores.