Crashes involving large trucks have particularly high stakes for other drivers of smaller passenger vehicles on Pennsylvania roadways. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that in 2017 alone, 4,102 people died in truck crashes. A full 82% of these victims were other drivers, passengers in other cars, pedestrians or motorcyclists. The size and weight of large trucks mean that they are a much greater threat to people in smaller cars or no vehicles at all. While any truck crash can lead to catastrophic injuries, some types of crashes were more likely to be deadly.
Many reckless, impatient and distracted drivers in Pennsylvania run red lights and, as a result, collide with pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers. Many of these crashes are fatal. Nationwide, 939 deaths arose from red light-running crashes in 2017, which was a 10-year high. The period from 2012 to 2017 saw a 30% increase in such deaths according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some statistics on drunk driving crash deaths in Pennsylvania and the U.S. For 12 years in a row, from 2006 to 2017, the annual number of drunk driving fatalities exceeded 10,000. In 2017, there were 10,874 drunk driving fatalities reported. In addition, 28% of the motorcyclists who died in 2017 were drunk: a higher percentage than is found among car and truck drivers.
Most Pennsylvanians will naturally feel drowsy following an extended period of wakefulness or after taking certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The important thing is to avoid getting behind the wheel during these times. Prescription sleep aids, for example, require one to sleep seven to eight hours before heading out. Unfortunately, many people ignore these directions and disregard the signs of drowsiness.
Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds an inspection spree for brake safety alone. It is called Brake Safety Week, and it will take place in 2019 from September 15 to 21. Truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. will want to prepare for this by ensuring that their brakes are up to federal standards. In fact, truckers have a duty to regularly maintain their truck components.
There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, and the majority of those drivers operate their vehicles in a safe manner. However, it is possible for even the safest of drivers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to get into an accident. Poor weather conditions are among the most common reasons why commercial truck wrecks occur. When roads are wet or snowy, it can be harder to stop or take other actions to avoid other vehicles.
A report published by the Associated Press based on comments from a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representative warned that federal regulators plan to relax the rules for commercial truck drivers. Although the public has yet to see the proposed changes, fewer restrictions on truck driver hours could reduce safety on the roads of Pennsylvania.
Drunk driving becomes prominent during the holidays, but some special days are more dangerous than others. Pennsylvania residents may have heard AAA call the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day "the 100 deadliest days of summer." In the middle of that is the Fourth of July, which is by far the worst holiday when it comes to drunk driving fatalities.
After several years of increases in motor vehicle accident fatalities, a new report is showing a minor decline. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 fatalities due to car accidents were down by one percent in Pennsylvania and across the United States. Motor vehicle fatalities spiked in 2015 and increased through 2017.
The summer months are some of the busiest for Pennsylvania first responders who must always be ready to help those who are in danger. Pool accidents, intestinal illnesses and motor vehicle accidents increase each summer. The increased danger is especially prevalent for teenagers. According to a study done by Ford Motor Co., the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be extremely deadly for young drivers.