Motorists who travel daily on Illinois' freeways are probably aware of the dangers of driving near large commercial semitrailers. Just one wrong move by an 18-wheeler traveling at high speeds, and a catastrophic multi-car crash could occur.
Illinois drivers may be interested to know about the information released by the American Transportation Research Institute regarding autonomous trucks. According to the report, autonomous trucks will transform the trucking industry by initiating significant regulation reform, producing a new workforce, and improving safety and efficiency. Because automated trucks require human operators, truck drivers will also still have job security.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently cleared a legal obstacle to their Pre-Screening Employment Program. This program allows trucking company owners and others in Illinois and around the country to check into the driving records of truckers that they had been considering for employment. This will alert them to safety violations and other issues of which an employer should be aware.
Federal trucking regulations are in place to make certain that people in Illinois and across the nation face reduced risks of involvement in truck accidents. When truck drivers and trucking companies violate the rules, they risk the lives of others. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts an annual international road check campaign in order to catch violators.
Accidents involving big rigs on Illinois highways have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of other vehicles. One reason is due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, but another is the way these trucks are constructed. They are much higher off the ground than are passenger cars, and there are times when a car crashes into the side or rear of a truck and passes underneath it. These are called underride truck accidents.
Drivers in Illinois and throughout the country might notice large trucks going more slowly on highways if a proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is enacted. Under the proposal, the speed of vehicles that are newly built and weight more than 26,000 pounds will be limited to 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour.
Truck drivers in Illinois may be aware that the week of Oct. 16 is Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Operation Safe Driver Week. During this period, law enforcement focuses on educating drivers about traffic safety and enforcing existing safety laws.
A recent out-of-state case related to the trucking industry serves as a valuable reminder. Hours of service regulations are not simply safety recommendations. They are the law. Following those trucking laws is crucial to the prevention of the deadly kind of truck accidents that claim too many lives here in Illinois and across the U.S. every year.
When there is a big problem, it is natural for a community to try to point the finger at one main source of the issue. That way, it can feel as though a solution to the threat is not so hard to implement.