Freight traffic on the highways is at an all-time high, with 15 million commercial trucks transporting 70 percent of goods each year.
The song that begins with, "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go," doesn't end with, "But we never arrived because Dad fell asleep at the wheel." However, this doesn't mean that you and other Missouri residents should discount the hazards of drowsy driving when you are preparing to visit family during the holidays, or at any other time.
You probably see 18-wheelers almost every day as you commute or go about your life, and it is normal if they strike a bit of fear into your heart. These trucks are quite huge compared with your passenger vehicle. The fact is that the men and women steering large trucks do not have an easy job. The work they do can put them at higher risk for fatigue, for example, and truck driver fatigue can unfortunately lead to serious crashes.
With auto accidents involving only passenger vehicles, it is usually one of the drivers who caused the collision. Other factors, such as a jaywalking pedestrian or debris on the road, may also contribute to the crash.
Missouri truck drivers may benefit from autonomous trucks, and experts say that the introduction of these trucks will not lead to job loss. Trucks will still need to have drivers in the cabs. However, a number of hurdles must be cleared before autonomous trucks are fully integrated into the industry. These hurdles are mainly related to regulations and infrastructure. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, some of these infrastructure upgrades include instruments for highway-to-vehicle communication, better signage and smoother highways, and these improvements are beyond the reach of the private sector. Other concerns include coordinating state and local laws, cyber security, and maintenance issues.
Missouri truck drivers may want to exercise more caution when they are on the road. The number of trucks involved in fatal and injury accidents is on the rise, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that there were 89 large trucks involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents in Missouri in 2012. These crashes constituted 8 percent of the total fatal vehicle crashes that occurred in the state that year. Nationwide, 2012 reportedly saw a 4 percent increase in fatal large truck crashes from 2011.
Three tractor-trailers and one SUV were involved in an accident in Wright City on Sept. 22, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. The Interstate 70 crash occurred at about 5:05 a.m.
Emergency crews responded to a Jefferson County accident that left a 56-year-old man dead and a 57-year-old man injured, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. The June 19 incident reportedly occurred on northbound Interstate 55 and involved two trucks.
While the use of trucks to transport goods from one location to another undeniably makes life easier for most residents of the St. Louis, Missouri area, their use is not without some risk. Motor vehicles involving trucks often result in catastrophic injuries to individuals occupying smaller automobiles. It is possible that the occupants of a truck could be seriously hurt as well. According to the Department of Transportation, approximately 500,000 truck accidents occur each year. While there are multiple reasons why something like this could occur, the speed of a truck is often to blame. Because of this efforts are regularly made on multiple fronts to make truck driving on roads throughout the nation.