At the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, in Washington, DC, early this year, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenburg delivered some sobering news:
- The number of large-truck-occupant fatalities increased each of the latest three years, 2015-2017.
- The percentage of fatal work zone crashes that involved at least one large truck increased each of the latest three years.
- The percentage of all fatal crashes involving at least one large truck also rose each year.
- The number of fatalities in large truck and/or bus crashes increased in 2017 over 2016, as did the number of fatal crashes themselves.
Crashes almost always involve multiple factors. FMCSA did not single out large trucks and their drivers as being at fault for the rise in truck fatalities. But data presented by FMCSA did show that the means to stem this tide is often – literally – in trucking’s hands. The article goes over three ways to put those hands to work for safety: seat belts, signaling, and avoiding distracted drivers.