Once a year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a week-long brake inspection spree for commercial trucks. Brake Safety Week will take place this year from September 16 to 22, so truckers in West Virginia and across the rest of the U.S. will want to take note.
Officers in Iowa and other states across the country are investigating transfer trucks and their drivers under more scrutiny during road checks to determine if driver fatigue could be the cause of accidents. When officers check trucks, they look at the log that the driver keeps to ensure that proper rest breaks are taken and to ensure that the proper safety and mechanical inspections of the truck have been performed. These inspections take place at weigh stations along interstates.
Truck accidents that cause injuries and even deaths are on the rise in West Virginia and across the country, according to statistics released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While the number of trucks involved in deadly accidents increased by 3 percent from the year before, the total number of deaths saw an even larger increase, 6 percent. These figures reflect the fact that several of the most serious accidents took multiple lives.
Safety initiatives by the Road to Zero Coalition may make roads in West Virginia and throughout the country less dangerous in the decades ahead as the coalition has set a goal to end all traffic fatalities by 2050. The CEO of the National Safety Council says that although autonomous cars are likely still some way off, safety technology can still play a significant part in reducing fatal traffic accidents. The coalition has identified other focuses as well to bring down the numbers of deadly motor vehicle crashes.
West Virginia truck drivers often deal with fatigue while operating their vehicles. It is not uncommon for a commercial trucker to drive 70 hours or more each week. This is partially why the turnover rate can exceed 90 percent. In addition to high turnover rates, drowsy driving is thought to cause at least 100,000 accidents per year involving commercial vehicles.