When the first snow falls, it can seem as if every driver around you has never driven in winter conditions before. The drivers who spent all summer risking serious motor vehicle accidents by tailgating, speeding and driving distractedly do not seem to realize that the danger has heightened. Some drivers behave as if their SUVs are unaffected by ice. Others drive act as if they are surrounded by land mines, ready to explode if they make the slightest movement. The increased congestion and reduced control inevitably lead to collisions, injuries and fatalities.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, under pressure from consumer safety groups and the Teamsters union, may suggest rule changes for how truck drivers operate. Advocates for the changes contend that any losses suffered by the trucking industry will be gained in reduced truck accidents. Opponents counter by suggesting that the new rules force truckers to drive during the hours of the day where more cars are on the road. They say that restricting early morning hours will put more truckers on the roads during rush hour, when collisions are most likely to occur. The latest draft of the proposal is currently being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
A Tuesday afternoon truck accident claimed the life of a 60 year-old Chicago woman. The fatal truck accident is still under investigation and no criminal charges are pending at this time. The woman was crossing at a crosswalk in her motorized wheelchair when she was hit by a cement truck. The driver of that truck, a Glenwood resident, failed to stop at the stop sign in the intersection.
A 28 year-old contract worker was hit and killed by a truck in a Will County construction zone this weekend. The driver of the semi tractor truck was issued a citation in connection with the fatal construction accident. Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding this tragic accident.
Lawmakers and safety experts all over the country are working to combat the dangers of distracted driving. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now recommending that commercial drivers be banned from using mobile phones while driving. The NTSB believes the measure could prevent many truck accidents caused by negligent semi drivers. The recommendation was one of several made as a result of the NTSB investigation into a 2010 truck accident that led to 11 fatalities in Kentucky.
A semi truck struck the back of a coach bus, igniting a fire that covered both vehicles. The fatal accident claimed the life of the truck driver and injured 30 people on the bus, including 7 who required hospitalization. Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the early morning accident.
Of the many provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed in 1994 was one granting Mexican and Canadian truckers the right to carry goods into and out of the United States. After seventeen years of delays and disagreements, the provision might finally take effect despite continued concerns over funding and trucking safety. President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon came to an agreement in March that will allow Mexican truckers to apply for permits after meeting certain requirements.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its list of critical transportation issues affecting safety for 2011. The list highlights ten key areas to focus on to reduce accidents, save lives and lessen the hazards of driving, flying, riding trains or taking other public transportation. While the list is intended to place an emphasis on areas of top concern, the NTSB remains committed to discovering the cause of all transportation accidents, improving transportation safety, and serving as a resource to help accident victims and their families.
The April accident that claimed the life of an Indiana construction worker led to an arrest on Wednesday. The driver in the fatal tractor-trailer accident is being accused of causing a death while operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. A blood test conducted by authorities after the incident revealed the presence of marijuana in the truck driver's bloodstream.
Mechanical difficulties forced a Canton man and his family to pull their RV to the side of the road on Monday. While the 35 year-old driver of the RV worked under the vehicle to make repairs, a semi truck collided with them on the shoulder of Interstate 39. The resulting injuries cost the RV driver his life and sent the three passengers, a woman and two children, as well as the semi driver to the hospital.