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Article 3 (Mar 2019): What's Wrong with Truck Safety?

March 28, 2019
Truck driver deaths are up and that's a trend that appears on the rise.  Since 2011, truck driver deaths have increased 25 percent.  In 2017, there was a nearly 7 percent increase in deaths over the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
              
The question is why now, with more safety standards in place than ever before?  According to trucks.com, truck drivers may be increasing speed because federal rules on driving hours make it difficult to make deliveries on time, especially with new required breaks.  Federal regulation limits driving to 11 hours during a 14-hour period with a 30-minute break at eight hours.
              
Another possible explanation is driver distraction, a problem common in both professional and commuter driving.  About two-thirds of car-truck collisions are caused by drivers of passenger cars.  Smart phones and texting while driving are usually cited as a problem, according to trucks.com.
              
There is a debate whether new technologies like automatic emergency braking for trucks help or hurt drivers.  New driver assistance technologies could actually cause drivers, especially new drivers, to pay less attention and become more complacent, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials.
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