Researchers are hoping that their current study regarding the safety risks of commercial trucks will improve roadway safety and reduce the number of fatalities resulting from these accidents. The study drew its data from five years' worth of data concerning commercial cargo-carrying trucks.
The study has already identified significant trends that could help transportation experts in Baton Rouge improve their roadways and commercial truck regulations to lower the local truck accident rate. Although large trucks are only involved in three percent of vehicle accidents nationally, these accidents account for roughly 10 percent of all vehicle-related deaths.
The study is currently being conducted by two civil engineers and is being funded by the Mid-America Transportation Center.
Significant statistics have turned up during the data analysis. Researchers have found that 81 percent of commercial truck accidents studied produced at least one fatality. Furthermore, 73 percent of the accidents were caused, at least in part, by errors introduced by the truck driver.
Environmental factors, roadway hazards and vehicle malfunctions comprised the remaining contributing causes. Experts note that, with so many different factors at play while driving that demand a driver's mental attention, even small lapses in attention or focus could have potentially catastrophic results.
Also surprising was that 78 percent of commercial truck crashes occurred during daylight hours absent of adverse weather conditions. Most of those accidents were in areas with a high posted speed limit. The bulk of accidents occurred between noon and three o'clock in the afternoon.
Source: Claims Journal, "Research Examines Truck-Related Crashes to Reduce Accidents," June 18, 2012