By Tracy Bannister
The number of annual road traffic deaths had reached 1.35 million, according to the global status report on road safety 2018 launched by the WHO. However, accidents that involve truckers face a number of causes that beg to be addressed throughout the industry. From tired overworked drivers to distracted driving, here’s what you need to know about major safety issues that plague the trucking industry around the world.
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Tired, overworked drivers
While some places (like Canada, Australia, and the United States) have placed restrictions to help prevent accidents caused by tired, overworked truckers, the issue still remains extremely prevalent. In countries such as India, for instance, drivers are known to be overworked and underpaid, in addition to lacking benefits like healthcare, often driving for long stretches of time (and thus risking safety) in order to get the job done. This is critical to address, as drivers that are overworked often experience symptoms such as fatigue and stress, which can make an accident more likely.
With many truckers driving for many hours at a time regularly, this is a major concern — in fact, 48% reported taking part in an average of more than 12 trips a month, with more than half of those lasting over 12 hours, according to one study by Castrol India in 2018 that involved 1,000 drivers.
In the United States, similarities can also be seen in regards to overworked and tired drivers, where more than half of all US drivers surpass the federal limit of 60 hours each week. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does have guidelines for proper rest times for drivers, these often get ignored/abused and are even encouraged to be ignored by many in favor of getting the job done on time, paving the way for more accidents and truck accident settlements.
Additional issues cause worry in the EU
While fatigued, overworked, and underpaid drivers are a major issue within the industry worldwide, it’s important to keep in mind that there are additional issues that can contribute to accidents as well, such as distracted driving, and even issues that may arise from improperly loaded (particularly overweight) trucks. For instance, trucks are involved in about 15% of fatal road accidents in the EU, with vision issues being a concern of those that involve victims such as pedestrians. However, innovative, active solutions that involve implementing technology – such as camera surveillance – have shown to be effective in improving drivers’ field of vision, and can offer a practical solution to the issue as well.
Accidents that involve trucks should not be ignored, especially considering the serious consequences that are involved. From enforcing rules and regulations to implementing cameras to improve visibility, there is hope for improving the issue around the world.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored and hence, promotes some commercial links.)