Be Careful Driving This Memorial Day, Truck Drivers Are Falling Asleep Across the Country

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

Be Careful Driving This Memorial Day, Truck Drivers Are Falling Asleep Across the Country

Minnesota:

On May 5th, a semi driver fell asleep behind the wheel before causing a three-truck crash. According to the Minnesota State Police, “Timothy Tillman, a 31-year-old Minneapolis man, fell asleep while driving his 2001 International 4000 series truck and rear-ended a 1995 International being driven by Brandon Belland, a 25-year-old Milaca man. Belland’s truck then rear-ended a 1998 International truck being driven by Steven Workman, a 21-year-old Princeton man.”

Link: http://millelacscountytimes.com/2016/05/18/driver-falls-asleep-behind-wheel-hits-trucks-of-local-men/

Ohio:

After falling asleep while driving, a truck driver crashed his box truck into a rest stop in Ohio on May 20th. According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, there was little evidence of braking and nothing wrong with the truck’s brakes. The truck driver was cited for driving a commercial vehicle with impaired awareness and failure to maintain control.

Link: http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2016/05/20/truck-driver-falls-asleep-crashes-into-rest-area-restrooms/84660122/

Indiana:

On May 25th, a truck driver was stopped at a red light when another truck failed to stop in time, struck it, then rolled on top of it, eventually causing the vehicles to combust . According to the Whitley County Sherriff’s Department, the driver of the second truck told them that he fell asleep behind the wheel, which is why he was inattentive and unable to stop in time. The driver of the first struck sustained burns to his body as we has trapped in the cab of his burning truck before being extricated.

Link: http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/police-fire/Semi-flattens-car-hauler-in-fiery-crash-on-US-30-13223387

TSC supports efforts to reduce truck driver fatigue. We will continue to oppose exemptions and rollbacks of the Hours of Service regulations, and support efforts to ensure truck driver fitness as well as efforts to change truck driver compensation.

One Man Dead and a Woman Injured due to a Truck Crash in Deuel County, NE

On May 1, 2016, at approximately, 1:25 a.m., Sophia Wooley, 26, and Victor Wooley, 35, were traveling eastbound on I-80 freeway when they stopped on a construction zone. Suddenly, the minivan was struck from behind by a semi-truck also traveling eastbound on I-80.

 

Mr. Wooley was pronounced dead at the scene and Ms. Wooley was transported to a hospital in Julesburg, CO for treatment of her injuries.

 

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol.

 

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

 

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Two People Critically Injured Due to Truck Crash in Licking County, Ohio

On April 12, 2016 at approximately 8:40 a.m., State Trooper Rodney A. Hart, 45, was parked in the right lane of I-70 east of Buckeye Lake helping Shanice J. Parker, 23, with a disabled car when they were both hit by a semi-truck.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Rodney A. Hart and Shanice J. Parker were both inside the cruiser when the semi-truck drifted into the right lane, drove through the flares, and hit the patrol car. Ms. Parker was airlifted to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. Trooper Rodney A. Hart was transported to Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark for his injuries and later released.

The truck driver, Eric Miller, 36, of Montrose, South Dakota, was not injured and was charged with failure to maintain an assured clear distance ahead, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and driving a commercial vehicle with impaired alertness.

The crash is under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Motorcyclist Killed in Truck Crash in Union County, NJ

On May 13, 2016, sometime before 10:00 a.m., Phillip Loureiro, 39, was riding his motorcycle on U.S. Route 1, when the motorcycle was involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer.

Mr. Loureiro was fatally injured in the crash.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Linden Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Three People Dead and a Child in Critical Conditions due to a Truck Crash in Montgomery County, TX

On April 23, 2016, at approximately 11:00 a.m., a truck driver driving an 18-wheeler was on Texas 105 near South Walker Road when traffic slowed down due to a slow moving convoy. He failed to slow down and crashed into the back of a Mercedes Sedan. The impact forced the Mercedes into the back of Cadillac Sedan. A total of four vehicles were impacted in the crash.

Two people died at the scene. Both victims were identified as Eric Shirley, 57, and his passenger, Doris Moorer, 76. A mother, identified as Jennifer Crain, 31, and her son were taken to Conroe Regional Medical Center. Ms. Crain succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. Her son was transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for treatment of critical injuries.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the truck driver failed to control his speed before crashing into four vehicles. The truck driver was charged with three second degree felony counts of intoxication manslaughter and one felony count of injury to a child. The crash is under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Trucks with weak underride guards, or none at all, offer little to no protection for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who can possibly crash into the sides or rear of a truck and trailer. Rear underride guards are required on many trucks and trailers, but the standard is antiquated and ineffective in preventing underride crashes from becoming injurious or fatal. Overall, more than 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 injured in large truck crashes every year in the United States and a portion of the preventable fatal crashes involve underride.

To find more information please visit the website: www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org.

                                                            WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Truck Driver Killed in a Truck Crash in Riverside County, CA

On May 11, 2016, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Miguel Rolon, 59, was driving a flatbed tractor-trailer eastbound on I-10, when the truck became disabled and stopped on the roadway. Mr. Rolon exited the truck and climbed onto the trailer waving his arms to warn traffic.  The driver of a Fed Ex semi-truck failed to see Mr. Rolon and crashed into the back of Mr. Rolon’s truck.

The impact threw Mr. Rolon to the ground. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Fed Ex truck driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to Desert Regional Hospital for treatment. The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

21 Years Old Man Died after Semi-Truck Slammed into Tractor in Jefferson County, Idaho

On April 27, 2016, at approximately 4:23 p.m., when McNeil Walker, 21, was driving a John Deere tractor southbound on I-15 when a semi-truck struck him from behind. The impact of the crash sent both vehicles rolling into the median. Walker died at the scene.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Idaho State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org  

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

One Woman Dead and One Boy Injured in a Truck Wreck in Fresno County, CA

On May 16, 2016, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Linda Iverson-Gutierrez was slowing in traffic on CA Highway 99, when a tractor-trailer following her Ford Edge failed to slow down. The semi crashed in the back of the Ford Edge causing the vehicle to crash into a cement retaining wall.

Ms. Iverson-Gutierrez was fatally injured in the crash. Her 17 year-old passenger was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, for treatment of an arm fracture.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. The results of the investigation will be sent to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Two Clarendon Women Killed in Truck Crash in Lonoke County, AR

On April 19, 2016, at approximately 9:30 a.m., when a woman identified as Linda Brewster, 47, and her passenger, Lora Piggee, 49, were traveling westbound on I-40 when a tractor-trailer struck the vehicle and a second semi-truck crashed into it from behind.

Both of the women died at the scene and neither of the truck drivers were injured. The crash is under investigation by the Arkansas State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Tampa-Area Businessman, Lance Ringhaver Died in Truck Crash

On April 4, 2016, at approximately 8:35 p.m., Lance C. Ringhaver was driving an Infinity Q705 south in the center lane on U.S. Highway 41 in Apollo Beach when it came upon a tractor-trailer, blocking the roadway. The truck driver attempted to make a left turn north of U.S. Highway 41, but failed to make a complete turn when Ringhaver crashed into the tractor trailer truck and his car was wedged underneath.  Mr. Ringhaver died at the scene.

The truck driver, identified as Isbel Perez Guzman was not injured, but was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

Trucks with weak underride guards, or none at all, offer little to no protection for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who can possibly crash into the sides or rear of a truck and trailer. Rear underride guards are required on many trucks and trailers, but the standard is antiquated and ineffective in preventing underride crashes from becoming injurious or fatal. Overall, more than 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes every year in the United States and a portion of the preventable fatal crashes involve underride.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                              WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Husband and Wife Died in a Truck Crash in Edgar County, IL

On May 17, 2016, at approximately 11:21 a.m., Clyde Kingery, 82 was traveling northbound on IL Route 49 with his wife, Mary Kingery, 79, when a southbound tractor-trailer left the roadway and re-entered it, traveling into the northbound lane. Mr. Kingery attempted to move onto the right shoulder of the highway, but the semi struck his Buick Regal head-on.

Ms. Kingery died instantly from injuries sustained in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Kingery Jr. was extricated from the wreckage and transported to the emergency room at Paris Community Hospital. He was pronounced dead in the ER at 1:18 p.m.

The truck driver and his passenger were transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The crash is under investigation by the Illinois State Patrol.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

College Student Killed in a Truck Crash in Bucks County, PA

On April 25, 2016, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Kelly O’Brien, 18, was driving eastbound on the Pennsylvania, Turnpike when a truck also driving eastbound crashed and overturned on top of Ms. O’Brien’s vehicle.

The tractor-trailer was carrying 20,000 pounds of detergent. Ms. O’Brien was trapped in her car. Crews had to use a crane to lift the truck off the wreck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver was transported to Aria Health’s Torresdale Campus for treatment of minor injuries. The crash is currently under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Two Dead after Truck Crash in Henry County, KY

On April 12, 2016, at approximately 4:00 a.m., the driver, identified as Jordan Mefford, 23, and his girlfriend, Jacqueline Hayes, 26, were driving southbound on I-71 in Henry County when a tractor-trailer traveling north crossed the median and struck their vehicle.

 

Jacqueline Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene and Jordan Mefford was airlifted to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment, but later died that night due to his injuries.

 

The driver of the tractor trailer was also taken to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. The crash is under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

 

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Man riding Farm Tractor Killed by a Large Truck in Christian County, KY

On April 27, 2016, at approximately 2:17 p.m., Jerry Williams, 43, was driving a farm tractor westbound on U.S. Highway 68 in the right lane. The farm tractor was pulling a trailer loaded with wooden pallets when a large truck also driving westbound struck him from behind.

The truck driver attempted to merge into the left lane when he observed a motorcycle approaching in the left lane, so he had to return to the right lane to avoid hitting the motorcycle. He tried to brake, but was unsuccessful causing him to his hit Mr. Williams from behind.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Chicago Public School Teacher Killed in a Truck Crash in Cook County, IL

On April 30, 2016, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Jeffery Komada, 54, was driving on I-294 when he he came upon a minivan stalled in the middle lane of the highway. He stopped on the Tri-State Tollway to assist a woman with a flat tire. Mr. Komada’s Honda CRV struck the back of the minivan. He had exited the CRV when it was struck from behind by a Volkswagen Tiguan. He was outside of his car when a tractor-trailer crashed into him, the CRV and the Volkswagen.

Mr. Komada was transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash.

Police said Saturday that no tickets had been issued and the incident is under investigation. Police did not say whether the mother and her child were injured.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org  

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Two People Killed in Richland County Truck Wreck

On March 31, 2016 at approximately 4:40 p.m., James Peagler, 80 and his sister, Jonell Peagler Weatherly, 78 were driving a Toyota SUV in South Carolina when they pulled onto U.S. 601 after stopping at the stop sign on Community Road.

A tractor trailer truck traveling south on U.S. 601 collided into the SUV causing the two victims to be trapped in the vehicle. Both victims died at the scene.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

 

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Bicyclist was Hit and Killed by Tractor-Trailer in Brooklyn, New York

On April 20, 2016, at approximately eight a.m., James Gregg, 33, was riding his bicycle on Sixth Avenue at Sterling Place when he was hit by a tractor-trailer who was driving along the side of him.

Mr. Gregg collided into the rear tire of the 18-wheeler truck and fell under the wheel. James Gregg died at the scene.

According to officials, the truck driver was given a summons for driving an overloaded vehicle. The crash is under investigation by the New York Police Department.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

21 Years Old Woman Died in Middlesex County Truck Crash

On April 3, 2016, in the middle of the afternoon, Jacqueline Sanchez, 21, was driving a Toyota Camry southbound on the New Jersey, Woodbridge Turnpike when she crashed into the back of a disabled tractor trailer truck that was stopped in the right-hand lane. Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene.

New Jersey State Trooper, Lawrence Peebles confirmed that the tractor trailer truck was not pulled over off the road and remained in the far right traveling lane. It is not clear why the truck did not pull off the road entirely.  The truck driver was not injured and the crash is under investigation by the New Jersey State Police.

Trucks with weak underride guards, or none at all, offer little to no protection for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who can possibly crash into the sides or rear of a truck and trailer. Rear underride guards are required on many trucks and trailers, but the standard is antiquated and ineffective in preventing underride crashes from becoming injurious or fatal. Overall, more than 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes every year in the United States and a portion of the preventable fatal crashes involve underride.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                            WE ARE HERE TO HELP

 

Two Dead in a Tractor Trailer Wreck in Pulaski County, AR

On May 15, 2016, at approximately 11:40 p.m., Willetta Reaves, 40, and Danny Hollis, 51 were traveling eastbound on I-40, when the vehicle was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer. The impact sent the Cadillac into the guardrail and both vehicles overturned. Reaves and Hollis were pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Arkansas State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

One person dead, Two Injured in a Three Vehicle Truck Crash in Windom County, Vermont

On April 26, 2016, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Dean Tkaczyk, 54, was driving northbound on Vermont Route 30 when her vehicle was struck from by behind by a large truck. The impact of the crash caused Ms. Tkaczyk to hit a car driven by Andrea Fields, 48.

Ms. Fields’ passenger, Charlene Higgins, 88, was transported to Brattlebro Memorial Hospital then transferred to Baystate Medical Center where she later died due to her injuries. Ms. Field was transported to Brattlebro Memorial Hospital for treatment of a neck injury. Ms. Tkaczyk was also treated there for her shoulder injury.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is currently under investigation.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Large Truck hits Man from behind in Sumner County, Kansas

On April 27, 2016, at approximately 2:42 a.m., George Britt, 50, was stopped at a toll both on the Kansas Turnpike when his vehicle was struck from behind by a large truck.

Mr. Britt was transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. The truck driver was also transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. The crash is under investigation by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Five People Injured and One dead in a Truck Crash in Lee County, FL

On May 16, 2016, a truck driver was driving a tractor-trailer northbound on Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, when traffic ahead of him began to slow. He failed to slow down and crashed into the back of a Lincoln Town Car. The impact started a chain reaction crash involving a total of seven vehicles.

The Town Car burst into flames and the back seat passenger, Kristin Lee, 38, was fatally injured. The driver, James Cwanek, 70, and front seat passenger, Austin Perkins, were transported to Tampa Regional Hospital for treatment of critical injuries.

The driver of the vehicle in front of the Town Car, Brian Crump, 27, and his passenger, Nadine Saint-Vil, 25, were transported to Health Park Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

The next vehicle driven by Robert Ingalls, 84 was also injured. He was also transported to Health Park with serious injuries.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries. The crash is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Charges are pending the completion of the investigation.=

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org 

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Elderly Woman Injured in Ambulance after Logging Truck Crash in Gulf County, Florida

On April 26, 2016, at approximately 12:00 p.m., a truck driver was driving an unloaded logging truck on eastbound U.S. Highway 98 when he came upon stopped traffic and attempted to stop. The truck jackknifed and pushed the tractor into the westbound lane. The ambulance driving eastbound crashed into the truck.

Doris Chase, 72, who was in the ambulance was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries after the ambulance in which she was riding crashed head-on with the logging truck. Ms. Chase was transported to a Panama City Hospital for treatment.

The truck driver was not injured and was charged with careless driving.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

One Man Dead after Semi-Truck Crashed into a Motel in El Paso, Texas

On May 6, 2016, at approximately 10:15 a.m., a truck driver was driving a tractor-trailer eastbound on I-10, when he lost control. The tractor-trailer exited the interstate, traveled through a parking lot and a brick wall before crashing into the Studio 6 Hotel. The truck struck Derreset Brown, 51, who was sleeping in a first floor room. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to La Palmas Medical Center for treatment. The crash is under investigation by the El Paso Police Department.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

TDOT Employee Killed in Truck Crash, Hickman County, TN

On April 28, 2016, at approximately 9:40 a.m., a worker with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), David Younger, 65, was standing in front of his TDOT vehicle with his co-workers on I-40. Three TDOT vehicles pulled over on the side of the road with their emergency lights activated as they unloaded equipment from one of the vehicles. Mr. Younger was waiting for help to change a flat tire when a tractor-trailer veered off the interstate and struck his vehicle, which then struck him. Mr. Younger was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three TDOT employees were injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. The truck driver was also injured. He was also transported for treatment of injuries and has criminal charges pending against him as a result of the crash.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org  

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Motorcyclist Killed in a Truck Wreck in Wagoner County, OK

On May 3, 2016, at approximately 6:40 a.m., Daniel Childress, 34, was riding his motorcycle eastbound on U.S. Highway 412, when a tractor-trailer pulled into his path as the truck driver attempted to turn onto the highway from 305th East Avenue. The motorcycle crashed into the semi’s fuel tank. Mr. Childress was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Five Women Injured in a Truck Crash in Porter County, IN

On May 11, 2016, at approximately 11:50 p.m., a semi-truck driver was driving northbound on highway 49 when he came upon traffic stopped at an intersection. He attempted to avoid striking a vehicle, but struck the back of one, which caused a chain reaction collision.

Four occupants of other vehicles were injured in the crash. They are Ashley Bryan, 23, Cynthia Croft, 53, Alexandra Weiser, 20, Hummad Tasneem, 24, and Hannah Streeter, 19. All five were transported to hospitals for treatment. 

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org 

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Two in Critical Conditions after a Truck Wreck in Fresno, California

On May 3, 2016, at approximately 10:00 a.m., a truck driver was driving a tractor-trailer southbound on Highway 41 when he came upon stopped traffic south of Road 406. The truck driver swerved right and ran up an embankment causing the truck to overturn and falling on top of two cars.

Roy Boustani, 60, and Natali Boustani, 30, where two who were hit by the tractor-trailer. They both suffered serious injuries. Roy Boustani was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno for treatment. Natali Boustani was trapped beneath a septic tank and it took over an hour to free her. She was airlifted to Community Regional.

Two occupants of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries. The truck driver sustained head injuries. He was also airlifted to Community Regional. The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

One Woman Dead and One Woman Injured after a Crash with a Tractor-Trailer in Warren County, MS

On April 30, 2016, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Ashley Dancer, 26, pulled over onto the shoulder of eastbound I-20 to assist Jamia Ransome, 27, who had a flat tire. Ms. Dancer was sitting on the shoulder between the two vehicles and Ms. Ransome was sitting on her GMC Yukon, when a tractor-trailer veered off the interstate and struck the Explorer. The impact caused the Explorer to strike Ms. Dancer and the Yukon.

Ashley Dancer was fatally injured in the crash. Jamia Ransome was transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center for treatment of injuries.

The truck driver was also injured and transported to the medical center for treatment. The crash is under investigation by the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

A Davis Man Died on I-80 Truck Wreck in Contra Costa County, CA

On April 21, 2016, at approximately 3:22 a.m., when Angela Valenzuela, 25 had to stop on I-80 freeway due to an earlier accident. As he is waiting for the flow of traffic to resume, Mr. Valenzuela was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.

The truck and Mr. Valenzuela’s vehicle collided in an area of the highway where lanes blocked off for overnight Caltrans work.

According to CHP Officer Brandon Correia, the vehicles were pushed toward the center divider and careened back into traffic. Three more vehicles were then crashed while trying to avoid the first crash.

Mr. Valenzuela died at the scene. The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

 

Crash between a Pickup Truck and Semi-truck End One Man’s life in La Porte, County in Indiana

On April 27, 2016, at approximately 10:15 a.m., Andrew Bladecki, 80 was driving his pickup truck westbound on IN Highway 2 when a semi-truck pulled into his path from County Road 450E causing a crash between the two vehicles.

Mr. Bladecki was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend where he succumbed due to his injuries suffered in the crash.

The truck driver was not injured. The crash is under investigation by the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

 

Two People Critically Injured After a Truck Crash in Benton County, WA

On May 2, 2016, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Agustin Gonzalez, 73, was traveling northbound on WA Highway 225, when a westbound tractor-trailer pulled into his path as the truck driver attempted to turn south onto Highway 225 from Highway 224. The two vehicles collided in the intersection.

Mr. Gonzalez and his wife, Maria Gonzalez, 74, were injured and transported to Kadlec Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The truck driver was not injured and he was cited for improper lane travel as a result of the crash.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

 

Middle School Teacher Died in a Truck Wreck in Cumberland County, ME

On April 20, 2016 at approximately 1:15 p.m., Adam Perron was driving a Pontiac Vibe westbound on U.S. Route 302, when a commercial truck driving east on U.S. Route 32, swerved into his path.

The truck driver struck Perron’s car on the driver’s side and continued down an embankment. The truck rolled over to the side trapping the truck driver inside.

Adam Perron, a teacher at Lake Region Middle School, died at the scene of the crash. The truck driver was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where he is currently in critical condition.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                          WE ARE HERE TO HELP

THUD Bill with Tired Trucker Provision Passes House Committee

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016

Contact:  Beth Weaver 301-814-4088, beth_weaver@verizon.net

THUD Bill with Tired Trucker Provision Passes House Committee

The House Committee on Appropriations today passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill, which included Section 132 – the tired trucker provision. We are disappointed that a majority of the committee opposed an amendment offered Congressman David Price (D-NC) to remove this and other anti-safety riders from the bill.

Daphne Izer, founder of Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) said, “I am frustrated that year after year, our lawmakers are more focused on inserting corporate earmarks into must-pass bills than passing data-driven safety solutions that will save lives and prevent injuries. Not only does this special interest handout, which will change a federal safety rule, have no place in an appropriations bill, it has no place in any bill. The tired trucker provision has not been subject to any public scrutiny, committee hearings, or adequate safety review. Trucking industry lobbyists should not be able to use the appropriations process to drive their agendas, while everyday people like me are forced to wait years for meaningful safety reforms in the gridlocked legislative avenues available to the non-lobbying public.”

Jennifer Tierney, the Truck Safety Coalition’s North Carolina Volunteer Coordinator stated, “I was very pleased when I heard that Representative Price offered an amendment to remove several anti-safety riders from the THUD bill, and I thank him on his efforts on behalf of families, survivors, and the motoring public. After more than three decades of advocacy, however, I was not surprised that this commonsense, pro-safety amendment was rejected in favor of a corporate handout. With nearly 4,000 people killed and 100,000 injured year as a result of truck crashes, it is time for our lawmakers to finally acknowledge that increasing a truck driver’s driving and working hours is not the solution to the major safety issue of fatigue.”

“Ultimately, the rejection of the Price amendment has created a tradition that adversely affects policy as well as process. Nevertheless, the Truck Safety Coalition will continue to educate the public and lawmakers about policies and regulations that will reduce the number of large truck crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities.” Tierney concluded.

The Truck Safety Coalition is a partnership between Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT).  The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

###

Letter to the editor: Sen. Collins puts trucking industry profits before public safety

The May 11 column “Maine Voices: Common-sense restrictions on truck drivers’ hours must be preserved” makes inaccurate statements about anti-truck safety provisions championed by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

There are about 500 truck crashes annually in Maine. Many crashes result in deaths and injuries, and the victims are usually Maine families.

Despite the carnage, Sen. Collins continues to be the star quarterback for special trucking interests seeking to repeal safety regulations that protect the lives of truck drivers and Maine families. National news stories have documented her legacy working on behalf of corporate trucking interests and, in turn, their generous largesse for her support.

Unfortunately, the annual government spending bill has become her private domain for pushing anti-truck safety measures. When trucking interests sought to significantly increase truck weights in Maine, Sen. Collins was ready to help. Last year, FedEx and others recognized a willing partner in Sen. Collins when they sought to overturn laws in 39 states, including Maine, and allow monster-sized trucks across the country.

And, for the third consecutive year, as a senior Appropriations Committee member, she slipped a provision into the bill to repeal the reasonable federal limits on the driving and working hours of truckers, although fatigue is a major cause of truck crashes.

However, this time she went even further and wrote into law an increase in the driving hours of truckers from 60 to 73 in a week. This is insane, but she has the temerity to actually claim it will be safer. This proposal had no congressional hearing, no scientific review and no public input. But it’s no problem if you are a well-connected trucking lobbyist.

Truck crashes kill 4,000 people and injure 100,000 more annually. Sen. Collins’ solution is to help corporate trucking interests protect their profits, but not public safety.

Joan Claybrook

Former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Washington, D.C.

Link: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/05/20/letter-to-the-editor-sen-collins-puts-trucking-industry-profits-before-public-safety/

Op-Ed: Truckers’ hours are long enough

Monroe County residents have witnessed some spectacularly devastating truck accidents over the years. They should beware measures under consideration in Congress this week that would raise truckers’ allowable working and driving hours, risking even more crashes that would imperil drivers themselves and the motoring public.

Congress is doing this virtually without public scrutiny — without hearings and under pressure from the trucking industry — by including these unsafe proposals in fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills. Elected officials in both the Senate and the House don’t want to get in the way of their precious federal funds.

But human life is precious, too. Senate and House committees are considering raising truckers’ allowable hours from the 60 currently permitted to 73 driving hours per week, plus 10 non-driving hours — loading, unloading, for example. Truckers could take as little as a mere day plus 10 hours, just 34 hours total, time off before they could begin their “work week” all over again. This is more than risky, it’s dangerous. Public safety should never be compromised for the sake of trucking companies’ bottom line.

Drivers themselves oppose these changes. The Teamsters, citizens’ groups, law enforcement agencies, federal and state safety officials and even some trucking companies argue, sensibly, against expanding work hours beyond the cap the Obama administration instituted in 2013.

The National Transportation Safety Board lists reducing fatigue-related crashes as among its top priorities this year, noting that truck crashes result in 4,000 deaths and 100,000 injuries every year. Driver fatigue is a frequent factor. The NHTSA’s National Automotive Sambling System Crashworthiness Data System crunched data and estimated that 16;5 percent of fatal crashes involved drowsy driving.

Anyone who uses Interstate 80, I-380 or four-lane Route 33/209 is aware of the truck-related carnage that should be everyone’s mission to reduce. Pennsylvania Congressman Shuster, R-9, chairs the House transportation and infrastructure committee. He should vigorously oppose these changes, which industry lobbyists succeeded in getting legislators to slip into the appropriations bills specifically to avoid the public hearings that would be necessary at the committee level. Call Shuster in Washington at 202-225-2431. Ask him which is more important: trucking company profits, or people’s lives?

Link to Article: http://www.poconorecord.com/opinion/20160518/truckers-hours-are-long-enough

Congress Is Using Zika To Weaken Truck Safety

WASHINGTON — Truck driver Dana Logan tried on Wednesday to recount a crash that decapitated two fathers and two children, hoping to convince Congress to stop weakening rules that require truckers to get rest.

She couldn’t do it. A dozen years after the fatigued driver of another truck fell asleep and drove into an SUV stuck in traffic behind her rig on a Texas highway, Logan was still too devastated to finish talking about it.

She drives trucks with her husband, Tim, as a team. That June day in 2004 near Sulphur Springs, the other driver fell asleep and rammed the SUV, pushing it under the carriage of Logan’s trailer, shearing off the top half of the vehicle with its four helpless passengers inside.

Logan got as far as recalling how her husband rushed to help the other trucker.

“When Tim tried the get the injured driver out of the truck, he [the other driver] asked him, ‘Did I hit something?’ Those were his last words before he died,” Logan told reporters in a conference call aimed at legislation moving in Congress this week.

Sobbing, Logan had to stop. She asked her husband to finish.

What the Logans and other safety advocates are worried about are measures that would allow truck drivers to work more than 80 hours a week, tacked onto to separate appropriations bills in the House and the Senate.

In the Senate, a measure that allows 73 hours of driving and an additional 8.5 hours on related work each week was added to a massive spending measure that will fund transportation, housing and military construction projects, as well as the Veterans Administration. Funding for Zika prevention has also been added to that bill, making it very likely to pass.

In the House, measures were added to the transportation and housing appropriations bill under consideration in the committee that set similar rest rules, reverting to regulations originally set in the Bush administration that were repeatedly challenged and thrown out in lawsuits.

Both bills would prevent the Obama administration from enforcing a regulation that briefly went into effect in 2013 that effectively capped truck drivers’ working hours at 70 a week, and ensured they could have two nights off in a row. That rule was blocked by a rider in a 2014 spending bill, which had to pass to avert a government shutdown.

The new inserted policy provisions represent a trend over the last three years of trucking industry interests using must-pass spending bills to win regulatory concessions that are opposed by most safety advocates and likely could not pass as normal stand-alone bills. In this case, not only do the bills fund major parts of the government, they provide cash to fight Zika.

“There’s not been any congressional hearings on any of these proposals,” said Jackie Gillian, the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “The trucking industry doesn’t want to have hearings, they don’t want to hear from truck drivers like Dana Logan. They don’t want to hear from victims.

“They know that if they do have testimony and they have the experts up there, the people affected, that they would see how illogical and insane these proposals are,” Gillian said.

Those trucking interests see the complaints of safety advocates as illogical.

On the rest requirements, known as hours-of-service rules, the industry believes advocates are inventing problems.

“There’s this claim by these anti-truck groups that drivers are abusing it. There’s no data showing that,” said Dave Osieki, who is in charge of public advocacy at the American Trucking Associations.

Osieki argued that it’s nearly impossible for drivers to string together their hours to hit the 80-plus hour maximums that are theoretically allowed under the rules that the trucking provisions in both spending bills would preserve. “We just don’t see a need for it,” he said of the tougher Obama administration standard with two nights off.

Osieki added that he’s seen no evidence that hours of service rules improve safety.

“Show me a link between compliance or noncompliance of the hours of service rules, and there is none,” he said.

Nevertheless, police who enforce the highway safety laws do see a connection.

One is Illinois Trooper Douglas Balder. Balder was nearly burned alive when a truck driver completely ignored the rules, and drove into the back of Balder’s patrol car. Balder, also a military veteran, spent months in rehab to get back on the beat. He doesn’t want Congress rolling back safety rules, and joined Wednesday’s conference call to say so.

“I continue to take to the road every day to do my part to protect the people and ensure the law is upheld,” Balder said. “I cannot do my job alone. I urge Congress to take necessary action to ensure our safety, not to put us further at risk.”

The White House has threatened to veto the Senate spending bill, in part because of the rest rule rollback. But the prospect of a veto is less likely with the Zika measure attached.

Three senators, Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) hoped to offer an amendment in debate Thursday to restore the Obama rest regulations. It was unclear if they would get the chance amid all the back-and-forth around Zika and other pressing matters surrounding the larger legislation. Democrats tried to remove Zika funding from the bill on Wednesday, but were blocked.

Link to Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/congress-zika-truck-safety_us_573cfc0ae4b0646cbeec1b89

Underride Roundtable Articles

WLMT TV (Memphis)

http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/parents-turn-tragedy-of-losing-son-into-life-saving-mission

WVIR TV (Charlottesville, VA)

http://www.nbc29.com/story/31903456/iihs-unveils-new-safety-improvements-for-tractor-trailers

The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)

http://pilotonline.com/news/media/videos/safety-group-tests-rear-crash-bar-on-trucks/youtube_4f226daa-f4c2-59bc-8f7e-c720d4fe360e.html

Truckinginfo.com

htp://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2016/05/truck-safety-coalition-honors-industry-leaders-for-safety-commitment.aspx

Trucks.com

https://www.trucks.com/2016/05/06/traffic-experts-debate-how-to-prevent-deadly-truck-crashes/

Business Wire

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160505006752/en/Greer-Woodruff-J.B.-Hunt-Transport-Services-Recognized

Gobytrucknews.com

http://www.gobytrucknews.com/tsc-recognizes-safety-leaders/123

Automotive World

http://www.automotiveworld.com/news-releases/truck-underride-roundtable-addresses-problem-deadly-crashes/

Rocky Mount Telegram (NC)

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/News/2016/05/13/Underride-roundtable-generates-awareness.html

Karth, Anna Leah and Mary

AnnaLeah and MaryAnnaLeah Karth

DOB: May 15, 1995

DOD: May 4, 2013

AnnaLeahMary Lydia Karth

DOB: August 6, 1999

DOD: May 8, 2013

Mary KarthLink to AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety: http://annaleahmary.com/about/

karth-annaleah-mary-muskegon

One Dead, Two Seriously Injured in a Truck Crash in Kyle, Texas

On April 8, 2016 at approximately 12:00 a.m., three men were driving a pickup truck on the southbound lane of Interstate 35 at Yarrington Road near a construction zone. A tractor-trailer struck the pickup truck from behind causing it to hit another tractor trailer that was in front of it. The pickup caught on fire.

 

Kyle police officers were working security for the construction zone and saw the crash. The officers immediately began to help the three gentlemen trapped in the pickup truck. One person, identified as Nathaniel A. Boado, 33 died at the scene. The two other men, identified as Michael Garcia, 42, and Ivan Trujillo, 24, were transported to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

 

The two truck drivers were not injured. The crash is under investigation by the Kyle Police Department.

 

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

 

 

                                                               WE ARE HERE TO HELP

A Davis Man Died on I-80 Truck Wreck in Contra Costa County, CA

On April 21, 2016, at approximately 3:22 a.m., when Angela Valenzuela, 25 had to stop on I-80 freeway due to an earlier accident. As he is waiting for the flow of traffic to resume, Mr.  Valenzuela was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.

The truck and Mr. Valenzuela’s vehicle collided in an area of the highway where lanes blocked off for overnight Caltrans work.

According to CHP Officer Brandon Correia, the vehicles were pushed toward the center divider and careened back into traffic. Three more vehicles were then crashed while trying to avoid the first crash.

Mr. Valenzuela died at the scene. The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years. Studies sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                           WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Truck Safety Coalition Honors Industry Leaders for Safety Commitment

The Truck Safety Coalition has honored three trucking industry leaders for commitment and dedication to fleet safety.

TSC, often seen as an “anti-truck” group, presented the Distinguished Safety Leadership Award to Greer Woodruff, senior vice president of safety, security and driver personnel of J.B. Hunt Transport Services.

The group gave special recognition for J.B. Hunt’s purchase of 4,000 Wabash trailers with enhanced rear underride protections. The underride guards are engineered to prevent underride crashes at higher impact speeds and overlap percentages. Woodruff was also recognized for using telematics to supervise driving behaviors and enhanced drug testing procedures to promote safe driving at J.B. Hunt.

“The Truck Safety Coalition commends Greer Woodruff for his strong commitment to advancing truck safety during his 28 years at J.B. Hunt,” said John Lannen, executive director of the TSC. “I applaud Woodruff and his team for their tireless efforts to eliminate all crashes involving J.B. Hunt drivers and equipment.”

In addition to Woodruff, TSC announced that Reggie Dupre, CEO of Dupre Logistics, and Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, will receive the Truck Safety Leadership Award at a later date.

Dupre was noted for implementing a training program for drivers, a fatigue management plan that includes hourly pay for many of Dupre Logistics’ drivers, and the use of “common-sense safety technologies.”

“We also commend Mr. Dupre for his involvement in the Trucking Alliance, which supports an increase for the minimum insurance required by motor carriers, and recently announced its opposition to efforts going on right now in the United States Senate to roll back federal hours of service rules for truck drivers,” said Jane Mathis, vice president of the Truck Safety Coalition.

Williams is a founder of the Trucking Alliance and has advocated for electronic logging devices and opposed increases to truck size and weight. He has also implemented collision avoidance technology on fleet vehicles, including electronic stability control, collision mitigation systems, and lane departure warning systems with forward-looking cameras.

“Steve Williams, Reggie Dupre and Greer Woodruff and their companies are leaders in the Trucking Alliance,” said Lane Kidd, who serves as managing director of the Trucking Alliance. “And these awards are further recognition of their commitment to reduce accidents and a belief that we must work with all transportation stakeholders to promote greater highway safety for truck drivers and motorists alike.”

The Truck Safety Coalition is made up of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and Parents Against Tired Truckers. The group is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes and provides support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims.

Link: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2016/05/truck-safety-coalition-honors-industry-leaders-for-safety-commitment.aspx

Change is Hard: Dawn King’s Comments on the Underride Roundtable

by Dawn King, President of the Truck Safety Coalition

Crash dummy survives!

Crash dummies waiting to go to work.
I’d never been a witness to a test crash before. I suppose not many people have. It’s kind of a surreal experience, especially for a person that’s had a loved one die in a violent crash.My husband and I, along with several other of our truck safety volunteers attended an all day conference at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety in Charlottesville Virginia on Thursday.

And it wasn’t just us in attendance.

In an unprecedented move truck companies, trailer manufacturers, safety advocates, bicycle and pedestrian representatives, policy makers, and researchers were all together in one room to talk about the problem of truck underride.

Most of you don’t know what truck underride is, and I wish I didn’t have to explain it to you. But because our country is a generation behind Europe you probably haven’t seen a truck sporting a side guard to keep a car from traveling under the trailer in a crash.

Perhaps, if you’ve been in New York City or Boston recently, you’ve seen city trucks with side guards; those two cities have now mandated this safety precaution after several bicyclists and pedestrians were killed by falling beneath the trailers and being crushed by the wheels.

Side and rear underride is a huge problem outside cities too. As you pass a semi out on the freeway, and if it’s safe, glance over and see where the underside of that trailer would hit you if you slid under. Just about the height of your head. And if you slide under your airbags won’t deploy as there would be no impact of the engine and front of your car. The first impact would be the windshield, and that won’t save you.

And don’t think you’re safe if you hit a semi from behind. Many of the rear guards were built to 1953 standards and will collapse if you hit them with any speed. Once again, the only thing between your head and the back of that trailer will be the windshield.

In the lobby of IIHS.  No airbags in the old days.

So for years safety advocates, including the Truck Safety Coalition, has been asking the Department of Transportation to require better rear guards, and to start the process to mandate side guards. It’s another one of those no-brainer things that we just can’t seem to get done through normal channels.

Thursday’s conference wasn’t a normal channel. Never before has the industry met with the safety people to discuss making changes that would move ahead of any regulations that might some day come out of the D.O.T. Never before has such candid conversations been held, without animosity, without rancor, with only safety in mind.

It was amazing.

At noon we went into the lab and watched a test crash of a Malibu slamming at 35 mpr into the back of a semi trailer that had been equipped with a new, stronger rear guard. Some of us weren’t sure we wanted to witness such a thing, but we’re all glad we did.

The dummy survived this crash because the rear guard was strong.

Because in this case the new rear guard held up and the passenger compartment, crash dummy inside, was not penetrated. (You can watch the crash test here.) Everyone inside this particular car would have survived. For many people the test crash was the highlight of the day. But I thought the highlight was later in the program.

During the day we had speakers from New York City and Boston tell us about the processes they went through requiring side guards on trucks within their city limits. We had speakers from government talking about where in the regulatory process we are, speakers from trailer manufacturers talking about stronger rear guards that are ready for market now, from a truck company that has ordered 4,000 of the new, safer rear guards, and from Virginia Tech students who showed us their own new design for a stronger, safer rear guard.

Explaining one of their designs they didn't end up choosing to build.

Those students almost made me cry. They were undergraduates, the project assigned to them was to build a better rear guard for a semi truck. They, like most people, had never heard of underride crashes before. They learned about the problem, dreamed up a number of potential solutions, weeded their options down to four, and then figured out which one was the most plausible, most acceptable to both the trucking industry and safety advocates.

And then they built a it.

Virginia Tech student and a Truck Safety Volunteer who has been fighting for side guards since her dad was killed 33 years ago.

Incredibly 18 and 19 year old young people spent a year on this project, realized the importance of their work, and were brave enough to come and speak about it to a group of adults working in the industry. They were excited about their design and proud to show it off. And a room full of jaded adults sat respectfully listening, leaning forward, following along, congratulation the students at the end for a good design, inviting them to join the industry after they graduate. To think that this whole room of people, including the kids, was there to make the roads safer for everyone. Well. That just about made me tear up.

It should make you tear up too.

Because change is happening. It’s happening because we’ve moved past regulations and asked the industry to listen and to do what’s right. And they are responding. Not everyone. And not every request. But some. And some change will lead to more change. And every step we make toward safety saves another life.

Change is hard. But it’s not impossible.

Link: https://dawnkinster.wordpress.com/ 

Underride Roundtable Pictures

Traffic Experts Debate How to Prevent Deadly Truck Underride Crashes

By James R. Healy | May 6, 2016

Big trucks need improved underride guards, trucking industry executives, government officials and safety activists agree, but opinions diverge sharply on the design and cost of the safety measures.

That’s what emerged from an all-day conference on deadly underride crashes at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Va. Thursday.

Big trucks “are not in any way crash-friendly,” said Robert Molloy, director of highway safety at the National Transportation Safety Board.

Underride is when a passenger vehicle crashes into a semi-tractor trailer or a straight truck from behind or from the side and jams underneath, flattening the passenger compartment and injuring or killing the vehicle’s occupants. The term also describes what happens when bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists slide under the body of a truck, usually from the side, and are in danger of being run over.

The industry should “move heaven and earth to make the best-possible protection,” said Marianne Karth.

Karth’s teenage daughters AnnaLeah and Mary, riding in the back seat, died from injuries in a 2013 underride accident. Karth’s Ford Crown Victoria was hit by a truck, spun, hit again and shoved backwards under another semi-trailer, flattening the rear of the passenger compartment.

Federal regulations require trailers and some straight trucks to be equipped with rear underride guards – the bars than hang down on the back of trucks and trailers. In fact, regulation requiring modest underride guards have been in place in the U.S. since 1953.

“It’s incredible that we have vehicles today that we can underride,” Molloy said.

The traffic safety community has resolved similar problems previously, he said.

As sport-utility vehicles became popular in the 1990s their high-riding stance increased damage to cars in crashes.
Regulators and the auto industry, he said, “were quick to act, and now we have vehicles that are more compatible.”

While acknowledging the truck problem, speakers at the roundtable differed on whether the guards should wrap around the truck or trailer, how much the extra weight might cut into payload, and how much the upgrades would increase cost.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering a new standard for the guards – partly because of a petition from Karth – but some participants at the roundtable argued that the any likely regulation won’t go far enough to prevent more deadly underride crashes.

To demonstrate the problem, IIHS, an insurance industry trade group, crash-tested the latest-design Stoughton trailer, slamming a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan into the back of the stationary trailer hooked to a semi-tractor and laden with 34,100 lbs. The test, which IIHS called successful, showed that the trailer’s new-design rear underride guard didn’t intrude into the passenger compartment, making the crash survivable.

The test was what’s called a 30 percent, where a portion of the driver’s side of the car smashes the underride bar.

The collision occurs at 35 mph, the speed at which federal regulations require that a vehicle is strong enough so that its occupants survive a crash.

Stoughton says the new-design rear bars will be standard starting late this year, but refused to provide a cost figure. The company did say the beefier bars would add very little weight, thus not cutting into payload capacity of the trailers.

The biggest change: Four supports across the horizontal bar, not just two. The new ones are on the outer ends of the bar, and all are fastened to a more robust undercarriage, Stoughton says.

As recently as 2013, only Manac had trailers with underride bars that passed the institute’s 30% offset crash test. Now, Vanguard, Wabash and Stoughton trailers also make the cut.

Trailers from Great Dane, Hyundai, Strick and Utility don’t past the test, the institute said.

One manufacturer said the fix is easy and not expensive. Moving the supports farther apart and strengthening the trailer floor to protect cars can be done for $20, and adds just 20 lbs., said Charles Dutil, president of Trailer-maker Manac.

NHTSA has said the fix is much costlier, averaging $2,000. IIHS disputes that figure as too high.

Regardless, the cost and extra weight – 60 lbs. was mentioned several times here — are unlikely to be undue burdens for independent owners-operators, said John Housego of Cary, N.C., who attended the roundtable. He owns a 2010 Freightliner semi-tractor, a 2015 Great Dane trailer and leases an older temperature-controlled trailer when needed for a job.

Housego said he’s willing to spend $1,000 or more on a rear underride-guard retrofit unit that would meet any new federal standard for the rig he owns, but not for a leased trailer.

He also agreed with industry representatives on a panel who said semi-trailer side skirts now used for fuel-saving streamlining could be made more rugged so they’d also serve as underride prevention devices in side crashes.

Panelist Robert Martineau, chief executive of Airflow Deflector, says his panels easily could be made sturdier to serve as crash bumpers as well as aerodynamic aids. He said he couldn’t say what the cost would be until he knows how much force such a panel would be required to withstand.

Officials from New York and Boston at the conference said they put side guards on city-owned trucks, such as waste haulers, and require companies that contract with the cities to install side guards to protect pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders.

Kris Carter, of the Boston’s mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, said when that city began putting side guards onto city vehicles, “it averaged about $1,300 at rollout, the range for us in about $1,000 and $1,800, depending on the vehicle.”

There’s uncertainty over the seemingly straightforward notion of how many people are killed each year in all types of underride accidents.

Federal data from the widely used Fatality Analysis Reporting System logged 5,081 deaths from 1994 to 2014.

Yearly counts range from a low of 198 in 2001 to a high of 299 in 2002. The 2014 count is 228; 2015 data aren’t available yet.

But a September 2013 report from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine calculated that fatalities from one type of underride collision, the side-crash, are about three times as frequent as the federal data indicates. That’s why some critics are saying the federal data does not represent an accurate fatality count from all types of underride crashes.

The underride crash problem has been debated for decades. Back in 1991 NHTSA rejected extending requirements to prevent underride crashes, stating, “Combination truck side underride countermeasures have been determined not to be cost effective.”

Link: https://www.trucks.com/2016/05/06/traffic-experts-debate-how-to-prevent-deadly-truck-crashes/

Laurie and Randy Higginbotham Interview – Underride Round Table

Parents Turn Tragedy Of Losing Son Into Life Saving Mission

In November 2014, 33 year old Michael Higginbotham died when his car crashed into a tractor trailer on Walnut Grove near I-240.
The truck driver was making an illegal U-turn.
His parents, Laurie and Randy, began working with advocacy groups to improve truck safety features so another family will not have to go through the same pain.
“He was just a wonderful young man making it in the world doing what you’re supposed to do: having a job, paying taxes, being a productive citizen and all that was taken away on November 18 of 2014,” said Michael’s mother Laurie Higginbotham.
It has been roughly a year and a half since Michael was killed in a car crash with a semi truck on Walnut Grove.
It happened after midnight. The 33 year old was going east on Walnut Grove Road and had just crossed Yates Road when he hit the truck’s trailer.
“Because none of the airbags or anything like that came into play he was killed instantly,” recalled Laurie.
This week the Higginbothams drove to Virginia for a national conference on truck underride crashes.
Government and industry leaders will talk about solutions to reduce truck underride deaths and injuries. The gathering is part of the couple’s new normal to try and help others.
“You shouldn’t have to bury your children. Losing a child is the toughest thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Randy Higginbotham.
“We need the trucks. They need to get the goods to where they need to be and but there should be some safety features that the trucking industry itself can adopt  that keeps all of us in passenger vehicles a little safer cause we’re no match against them.”
A crash test of a truck with an improved underride guard will take place at the conference tomorrow.

TRUCK SAFETY COALITION RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY LEADERS FOR COMMITMENT TO SAFETY

Arlington, VA (May 5, 2016) – At a time when truck crashes are increasing nationwide and truck safety rules are under attack by special interests in Congress, the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) recognizes three individuals who stand out for their safety leadership in the motor carrier industry. This happens against the backdrop of the U.S. Senate scheduled next week to take up a transportation spending bill, which includes a provision to roll back the federal rule governing the maximum hours a truck driver can drive and work. Their efforts within their own companies underscore why each of these trucking executives continue to be examples of how good corporate policies can also have good public health and safety results.

The Truck Safety Coalition presented the Distinguished Safety Leadership Award to Greer Woodruff, Senior Vice President of Safety, Security, and Driver Personnel of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. for his outstanding and longtime dedication to improving truck safety. The award was presented during the Underride Roundtable at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s testing facility in Ruckersville, VA. The conference brought together researchers, safety advocates, government officials, and industry leaders to discuss truck underride crashes, examine the scope of the problem, and determine how to reduce the risks for passenger vehicle occupants through regulation and voluntary action.

“The Truck Safety Coalition commends Greer Woodruff for his strong commitment to advancing truck safety during his 28 years at J.B. Hunt. In particular, we want to recognize his support for his company’s forward-thinking purchase of 4,000 Wabash trailers with enhanced rear underride protections,” said John Lannen, Executive Director of the TSC. “The improved underride guards are engineered to prevent underride crashes at higher impact speeds and various overlap percentages. J.B. Hunt is one of the first companies to adopt this new protection for its trucks. Implementing stronger rear guards to reduce truck crash injuries and deaths will serve as a leading example for the industry.”

“Additionally, Woodruff’s early development of the use of real-time telematics supervision of driving behaviors and enhanced drug testing procedures has promoted safe driving and established him as an industry safety leader. During his tenure, the company has seen reductions in all types of collisions, and their post-accident positive drug tests between 2008 and 2014 were effectively zero percent.” Lannen continued, “I applaud Woodruff and his team for their tireless efforts to eliminate all crashes involving J.B. Hunt drivers and equipment.”

The Truck Safety Coalition also announced that Reggie Dupre, CEO of Dupre Logistics, LLC, and Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO of Maverick USA Inc. will receive the Truck Safety Leadership Award at a later date.

“Steve Williams has initiated and supported numerous efforts to make the industry safer for truck drivers and the public sharing the road with large trucks. As founder and president of the Trucking Alliance, he has advocated for electronic logging devices and opposed increases to truck size and weight,” Dawn King, President of TSC, stated. “In addition, he has implemented crash-reducing technologies on his company’s trucks such as: electronic stability control since 2004, collision mitigation systems since 2008, and lane departure warning systems with forward-looking cameras since 2013. Under his leadership, and with a focus on safety, Maverick experiences significantly lower driver and vehicle out-of-service rates compared to the national averages.”

Jane Mathis, Vice President of TSC, remarked, “Mr. Dupre has promoted and oversees a safety culture that strives for best practices rather than simply following basic regulations, which he views as minimum standards. This is demonstrated by his implementation of training programs for drivers, a fatigue management plan that includes pay-by-the-hour for many of his drivers, and equipping their fleet with common sense safety technologies, which has helped the company experience much lower driver and vehicle out-of-service rates compared to industry averages. We also commend Mr. Dupre for his involvement in the Trucking Alliance, which supports an increase for the minimum insurance required by motor carriers, and recently announced its opposition to efforts going on right now in the United States Senate to rollback federal hours of service rules for truck drivers. As a leader in the trucking industry, his opposition is critical. Truck driver fatigue is a major problem in the trucking industry and proposed changes included in the current transportation spending bill coming up next week in the Senate will make our roads and highways more dangerous for the public and truck drivers.”

The Truck Safety Coalition is made up of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT). The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

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Two Clarendon Women Killed in Truck Crash in Lonoke County, AR

On April 19, 2016, at approximately 9:30 a.m., when a woman identified as Linda Brewster, 47, and her passenger, Lora Piggee, 49, were traveling westbound on I-40 when a tractor-trailer struck the vehicle and a second semi-truck crashed into it from behind.

Both of the women died at the scene and neither of the truck drivers were injured. The crash is under investigation by the Arkansas State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

WE ARE HERE TO HELP

 

Appropriations Trickery in Congress

It is an old congressional ritual: loading up vital spending bills that are meant to keep the government running with dangerous amendments aimed at satisfying ideological causes and benefiting special interests.

The Republicans have become adept at this practice in recent years, and this year is no different. Legislative riders attached to appropriations bills would undermine the Iran nuclear deal, weaken highway safety and reduce the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over tobacco products.

These measures would be unlikely to succeed as stand-alone bills, either because they could not get enough votes on their own or because President Obama would veto them. So better to sneak them in without even holding hearings to make a case on their behalf.

Thankfully, Democratic lawmakers and public interest groups are calling attention to these stealth attacks. In the Senate, Democrats managed on Wednesday to block a vote on a water and energy spending bill after Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, tried to attach a provision that would have dealt a severe blow to the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. Cotton’s measure would have blocked the administration from purchasing heavy water used in Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has to get rid of the water to comply with the deal. By denying Iran an American market, Mr. Cotton and other Republicans hoped to undermine the deal, which they hate.

The Senate will soon consider a transportation bill containing a rider that could prevent the Department of Transportation from reinstating a rule aimed at making roads safer by requiring that truckers get adequate rest — two nights of rest after working 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight consecutive days.

The rule took effect in July 2013, but it was suspended by Congress in December 2014. The rider bars the administration from reinstating the rule unless it can show that it produced a “statistically significant” improvement in safety and driver health during the brief time it was in place.

That is a ridiculously high burden to meet. If the provision becomes law, it will be impossible for the government to issue basic regulations to make sure companies are not putting dangerously tired drivers on the road.

And the House Appropriations Committee recently passed an agriculture and food spending bill that would make it very hard for the F.D.A. to regulate tobacco products. A rider attached in committee would forbid the agency from regulating “large and premium cigars”; another would rewrite a 2009 law that gave the agency the authority to approve or reject tobacco products that have entered the market after Feb. 15, 2007. This would include electronic cigarettes, for which the agency has proposed regulations.

To prevent the agency from taking e-cigarettes off the market and effectively grandfather them in, Republican lawmakers want to require pre-approval only for products that come out after the F.D.A. issues its final e-cigarette rules, which could be later this year. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the devices are now more popular than conventional cigarettes with middle- and high-school students.

Riders like these are not harmless passengers on legislative vehicles. They can and will do real damage if they are allowed to succeed.

Link to Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/opinion/appropriations-trickery-in-congress.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=1