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Bret Hanna
Bret Hanna
Attorney • 435-649-2525

Trucking Safety Must be a Top Priority

5 comments

Deaths resulting from accidents involving tractor-trailers between 2003 and 2006 exceeded 5,000 per year which is way too high. The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) is dedicated to reducing these numbers and describes itself as:

The Truck Safety Coalition is a partnership between The Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T). The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

The TSC site also contains memorials dedicated to those who have lost their lives in these accidents and they really underscore the need to focus on safety issues to reduce the number of injuries and deaths resulting from truck involved accidents. This post is the first in an indefinite series of articles that will address trucking safety issues. Please visit often to stay current on this topic which is critically important to everyone on the roadways.

5 Comments

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  1. Facebook User says:
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    On a positive note.
    The number of deaths in truck related accidents are getting lower every year. In part due to the current hours of service regulations.
    Drivers having the 34 hour restart available to them is a huge step that is helping to keep drivers and other motorists safe.
    Many drivers feel pressure from their company’s and shippers to run their hours thin. This provision gives them a great way to get a needed break and to replenish their hours.
    I just wish that the “safety” groups that you named would see it for the great provision that it is, and direct their efforts in getting shippers and receivers to have to pay an hourly rate for keeping drivers waiting for load and unload.
    If the price of keeping the truck sitting was high enough, then the drivers would not be pressed for time while on the road.
    Or a more usable sleeper berth provision could be made. That would allow a driver to take a nap for a few hours when needed without running their 14 hour clock down.

    Even as the current hours of service are set up they were a step in the right direction. Deaths in trucking accidents are at the lowest level since records have been kept.
    The 14 hour rule is completely flawed, and leads to issues as well, but they are much better than the old rules.
    If anyone from these organizations reads this post. Please look at the facts and try to see how hours of service affect the drivers. The rules in effect need to be done in a way that the driver can stop and get a nap without hurting there income, or the on time delivery of a load.
    They need to allow a well rested driver to be able to run as needed to get all the things that every consumer in this country buys, in a safe and legal manner.

  2. Sandra says:
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    On Sunday, November 23, 2009, my daughter and I were traveling from Tampa, FL to Atlanta, GA. The speed limit was 70, so I put on the cruise control and stayed in the center lane. I started to pass a semi in the right lane. When I was alongside, he put on his turn signal and IMMEDIATELY crossed the lane line to come into my land…where I was. I tried to get out of the way, but he was coming so fast, he drove me off the road…and we took the guard rail at 70 mph. The truck just kept driving. My car was totaled. Four hours later, we continued on in a rental, staying in the far right lane at 60 mph. Another truck came up from behind us and drove us off the road. Luckily, my daughter was able to escape via the exit ramp. Truck drivers used to be the most courteous drivers on the road. No more. The first idiot who left us apparently didn’t care whether he had killed us or not. And my accident probably would not have been listed as being caused by an aggressive truck driver…WHO LEFT THE SCENE!

    These guys have a way of letting each other know where the highway patrol is, so they can break the law and bully other drivers with impunity.

    SHAME ON THEM!

  3. Facebook User says:
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    I would like to apologize for the drivers out there that care.
    I have never done anything like you state in your post.
    I will say in the case of the first driver that he most likely never even saw you. The blind spot on the right side of the truck is very large, to be sure that no cars are in that spot a driver needs to check all mirrors several times, and still change lanes slowly and keep scanning.
    Most trucks are governed at 65 or less, so you were probably passing him at a decent speed.
    If you approached him in the right lane up to the time you attempted to pass, the driver should have seen you. If you had been behind him, then changed lanes to pass, then it would be very easy for him to not. Also, passing a truck on the right is never something that should be attempted. I will not even attempt it in a truck, which is very easy to see, since drivers do not expect anyone to try and pass them on that side.
    As to the second time you were run off of the road, I do not know why you left the road.
    There is a slight chance the driver would have hit you, but since I was not there I cannot say.
    Aggressive driving is rampant in cars, and in trucks. There is no excuse for it.
    All drivers, in cars and in trucks need better training. 80+% of all accidents that trucks are involved in are due to negligence of the people in cars around them. This is not a made up number, it is the number given by police organizations around this country.

    A good rule of thumb when passing anyone in a car or a truck is to never pass on the right. In most country’s it is illegal, and in the US the states need to get laws for this as well.
    The truck should not have been in the left lane, unless he was passing or had moved over to let people in at a ramp. Then he/ she should have looked twice before moving back into that lane, then done so slowly to insure nobody was in the blind spot.
    Also, if you cannot see the driver in their mirror, then they cannot see you. When passing you should always watch their mirror, make sure you see them see you.

    I have seen accidents happen on ramps right behind my truck. When someone came on the ramp and I could not move over. Then the driver reacted poorly and caused an accident.
    Do you believe I was involved in that accident?
    When passing an on ramp a truck driver is supposed to do a few things. 1. Maintain speed. 2. Maintain appropriate following distance.
    That is it.
    Moving over is not one of the things we are supposed to do. It is nice when we can safely move over, but it is not something we are supposed to do. Slowing to let people in is a no no. Slowing to allow traffic to merge is one of the most dangerous things we can do. It is a merge area. Meaning the person entering traffic is required to adjust their speed to safely enter the flow of traffic.

    Again. I am sorry that you had the issues that you did. Both drivers did things that they should not have. You also did something you should not have, in attempting to pass on the right.
    I also agree that aggressive drivers need to have severe penalties. Both aggressive drivers of cars and of trucks.
    Better driver training for both could help this issue.

  4. Bret Hanna says:
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    Sandra:

    I’m sorry to hear about your two bad experiences with truck drivers but thankfully you and your daughter were not seriously injured. I hope the future brings you safer travels.

    Jonathon:

    Thank you for your thoughtful commentary. It appears from your writings that you are a truck driver. If so, I wish all drivers provided valued transpiration services in the way that you appear to provide them.

  5. Sandra says:
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    Jonathan,

    I was in the center lane. The truck was in the right (slower lane). I was attempting to pass on the truck’s left. I had been in that center lane, leaving the left lane for anyone who wanted to drive faster than 70. No mistake on my part…I was exactly where I was supposed to be… maintaining an even speed and driving predicably.

    If the driver had been paying attention, he would have seen me approach. I didn’t pop out from directly behind him into his blind spot. As it was, he waited until I passed into his blind spot and decided I wasn’t there anymore.

    There was NO PAUSE between the time the truck driver put on his signal and when he started to move over. A courteous driver would have put his signal on and given other drivers a chance to get out of his way. That’s how I drive. Signals are NOT AFTERTHOUGHTS, they are used to signal INTENTION.

    I was already a third of the way the length of his trailer when he came into my lane. As fast as he was coming over, if I had braked, his rear wheels would have driven over the right side of my car. I doubt my daughter,sitting in the passenger seat, would have survived.

    First, I moved away from the truck. By the time I corrected, the right tire blew and the car dove toward the truck. The truck had already moved back into the right lane and turned his signal off…he KNEW what he had done. I managed to avoid hitting anyone…but the totaled car has basically destroyed me financially…

    I have multiple sclerosis. Last year, my adjusted gross income was $3,500. For the most part, I live without heat or air conditioning. I had saved up for the better part of a year in order to afford a trip to Atlanta to see my first-born granddaughter, born in August, and was driving a 5-year-old car with less than 30,000 miles on it. Two days before, I paid $800 to have all the fluids changed and get it checked out to make sure it was safe for the trip. My driver’s license designation is “Safe Driver.” I’m not aggressive, I don’t drive under the influence of anything, and I do the best I can to be courteous and stay out of the way of those “in a rush.”

    Safer travels?

    I still can’t figure out how to replace the car.