republican debate

Spike in truck crashes sparks renewed safety legislation

  • Data: Large truck accidents increased by 26% from 2020 to 2021
  • Trucker: Electronic logging devices to blame for spike in collisions
  • FMCSA proposes 68 mph limit for trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds

(NewsNation) — Trucks play an essential role in transporting goods long distances across America, but collision risk due to their large size highlights the dangers and risks they present on roadways.

According to a recent Forbes report, large truck accidents increased by 26% from 2020 to 2021. There were 523,796 incidents involving large trucks in 2021 — up from 415,444 incidents in 2020.

Debbie Desiderato, who’s driven trucks since 2003, blames the mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) for this sudden spike in large truck collisions.

An ELD connects to a truck’s engine and automatically captures driving data including location, hours driving, miles driven, and speed.

“It’s caused us to race against the clock, which is not safe for us or anyone else on the road,” Desiderato said. “Nobody should be racing against the clock unless you’re in NASCAR.”

The most fatal accidents involving large trucks occur in Texas, followed by California and Florida. Washington, D.C., Vermont, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Alaska had the least amount of fatal accidents.

“I had a blowout one time at 65 miles per hour, steer tire blowout, and the car was beside me. “It took everything inside of me to grab the wheel and not hit them,” Desiderato recalled.

Nearly 7% of large truck accidents involve driver intoxication, while 13% occur in adverse weather conditions, according to Forbes’ report. A staggering 80% of these accidents take place during daylight hours.

“It jumped from 4,200 killed in truck crashes in 2020 to 4,700 in 2021,” said Eric Teoh, the director of statistical services at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Teoh said right now federal agencies are working to find a solution.

“There was another proposal to require speed limits on large trucks, Teoh said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposal aims to reduce the maximum speed limit for trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds to 68 mph.

“If you go to Texas it’s pretty much wide open,” said Jeff Boesger. “Truck drivers can drive 70, 80 miles per hour or whatever the speed limit is. But if you go to a state like Indiana or Illinois, you’ll have interstates that have a five or 10 reduction of the speed limit for trucks versus a car.”

Behind The Wheel: Truck Week

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