Semitruck crashes are some of the most dangerous. In many cases, those crashes are caused by issues with the trucks' cargo loads or because of dangerous driving practices.
Anyone who has ever traveled down I-70 next to a big rig behemoth has likely felt their much smaller passenger vehicle shuddering from the sway of the semitruck doing 70 mph or greater.
Large trucks are common on the Colorado roads. An accident between passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers can cause catastrophic injuries and death. Relying on government oversight to ensure that truck companies adhere to the rules for safety might seem wise. However, some rule changes sow concern. Such is the case with the bill that would allow drivers under the age of 21 to drive commercial vehicles across state lines.
Truck driver fatigue contributed to 13% of crashes analyzed in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study of 2007. However, there are many steps that drivers in Colorado and elsewhere can take to make sure that they are awake enough to operate their vehicles. For example, it is not a good idea to drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. because the human body tends to be naturally tired during these hours.
As much as 35% of truckers in Colorado and the rest of the U.S. suffer from a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Apnea means "without breath," and sleep apnea results in the individual having his or her upper airway blocked during sleep for 5 to 10 seconds at a time. In obstructive sleep apnea, the most common among truckers, the mouth palate and throat muscles relax and collapse to block the airway.
Colorado drivers know that truck accidents are more dangerous than typical crashes involving passenger vehicles. This is due to the size and weight of these large trucks. Unfortunately, accidents involving large trucks and passenger vehicles often lead to catastrophic injuries and even death.
The number of fatalities among drivers and passengers in car accidents in Colorado and across the country declined in 2018. While this seems like good news, it came alongside other disturbing statistics that show that pedestrian and cyclist deaths are continuing to rise. The data are prompting some advocates and agencies to consider more stringent safety standards to protect walkers and bikers on the road. During 2018, over 36,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes across the country. This number represents a small decline from 2017, but it also still indicates a serious problem with roadway safety.
Every year in Colorado and across the U.S., the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance designates one week as a time of increased traffic law enforcement. In 2019, this initiative, called Operation Safe Driver Week, was undertaken between July 14 and 20. Law enforcement officers wound up issuing 46,752 citations and 87,624 warnings to passenger vehicle and CMV drivers for various traffic offenses.
The years have been flying by, and before you know it, your Colorado teen is asking you to help her or him learn how to drive. In fact, for many teens a license becomes a necessity because it enables them to get to school or to a job more easily. Whether this is your first child or your sixth, is it a somewhat scary concept to think of your child operating a car on the road. How can you help your teen become a safer driver?
According to a recent report from AAA, drivers running red lights and causing fatal accidents has reached a 10-year high. From 2012 to 2017, the rate of collisions caused by drivers who ran red lights increased 28%. In almost half the cases that involved a fatality, the people killed were either drivers or passengers in cars hit by red-light violators. Approximately one-third of the victims were the drivers who ran the light.