No Change in the Number of Commercial Truck Fatal Accident Statistics
THE UNITED STATES – According to a news report posted on landline.media, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published an update concerning accident data concerning fatal accidents involving large trucks. The NHTSA defines large trucks as commercial and noncommercial trucks that weigh over 10,000 pounds. The NHTSA reported that there was a 2% decrease in the total number of fatal accidents involving at least one large truck.
NHTSA is currently collecting the end of year accident data for 2020. However, the NHTSA published its preliminary fatality estimations for the first six months of 2020. The NHTSA’s preliminary statistics recorded 8,870 motor vehicle fatalities in the first half of 2020. This total was a decrease of approximately 3.3% as compared to the first half of 2019.
Although the fatal truck accident statistics are positive, traffic levels were diminished due to the coronavirus lockdowns during the first half of 2020. The national stay-at-home orders reduced the overall traffic volume by about 16% in the first half of 2020.
Risky Behavior is a Significant Cause of Truck Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study suggests that behaviors and driving patterns changed significantly during the national coronavirus health crisis. According to the NHTSA, truck drivers were engaging in unsafe behavior, including distracted driving, aggressive driving, tailgating, speeding, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The NHTSA data discovered the average speed of trucks had increased during the second quarter, and extreme speeding became more prevalent.
The NHTSA’s deputy administrator, James Owens, stated that the NHTSA’s top priority is road safety, and it was a good sign that fatal truck accidents were decreasing. However, Mr. Owens said that the governmental agency was concerned with the numbers collected in April 2020. According to the NHTSA deputy administrator, the number of fatal truck accidents in April 2020 was trending higher. Mr. Owens stated that the time is now to practice safe driving behaviors and encourage friends and family to drive safely. He stated that not only is it illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but those who drive drunk also put other people’s lives at risk.
According to the NHTSA, the number of truck drivers who tested positive for opioids almost doubled around the second week of March 2020, and the number of truck drivers who tested positive for marijuana grew by around 50%.
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