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Trucks crash more because of these risks

When you head out for your morning commute, you don't want to see a truck driver who is weaving or driving dangerously. These drivers are supposed to have some of the best training, so they know how to handle their vehicles. Along with regulations put in place by the government, they should be driving safely and attentively at all times.

Why do these drivers crash? An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-sponsored study showed that defective vehicles triple the risk of being in a crash, while long hours and short-haul exemptions put drivers at risk of fatigue and drowsy driving.

During 2015, 3,852 people were killed in truck accidents. While some of the people who were killed were truck drivers themselves, most of the people who were killed were pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and passenger vehicle occupants. In fact, 84 percent of the people killed were in those groups.

One thing that is of particular concern is the short-haul exemption. This exemption applies to anyone who works within a 100-mile radius of their employers. To qualify, they must work fewer than 12 hours a day and not take part in overnight trips.

Another thing that is a risk to drivers is that around 75 percent of trucks in crashes had vehicular defects. With proper maintenance, there's no reason for a truck to be on the roads with defects.

It's important for trucking companies, employers and drivers to know the risks and to be safer. Drivers' lives rely on these drivers being safe; one small error could result in a fatal crash or one involving serious injuries.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Safety defects and long hours contribute to large truck crashes," accessed Feb. 16, 2017

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