On October 14, 2012 New York State Police, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held a press conference in Westchester County, N.Y to launch a nation-wide safety campaign targeting unsafe driving practices in commercial vehicles called Operation Safe Driver.
Operation Safe Driver
The week-long safety program is a partnership between federal safety agencies and state authorities aimed at reducing motor vehicle accidents involving commercial vehicles. Officials from the CVSA note that unsafe driving practices such as distracted driving, aggressive driving and speeding account for almost nine out of 10 auto accident fatalities.
During Operation Safe Driver, authorities increased enforcement of commercial vehicle regulations such as roadside safety inspections checking brakes, vehicle weights and log books. Police were also checking for seat belt compliance and monitoring how closely drivers were following traffic regulations.
Operation Safe Driver also included a public education provision to raise drivers’ awareness levels regarding driving near commercial vehicles. A media event in Yonkers, NY on October 15 emphasized the need for drivers to drive safely and without distractions. Radio stations aired public service announcements in the metropolitan areas with the highest incidents of commercial vehicle accidents, including the New York-New Jersey-Long Island area.
“Curbing Distracted Driving”
One of the key elements of Operation Safe Driver was an educational component aimed specifically at teaching teen drivers on how to share the road safely with large commercial vehicles. According to the Operation Safe Driver website, drivers aged 16-24 years old make up only 4.7 percent of licensed drivers in the U.S., but are involved in 10.1 percent of all fatal accidents and 13.5 of all total accidents.
The curriculum for 2012 was entitled “Teens and Trucks: Curbing Distracted Driving.” Commercial drivers shared techniques they use to eliminate distractions while driving with teen drivers. The course built on a past public safety campaign in 2009-2010 called “Teens & Trucks Training Program.”
Talk to a lawyer
Despite a driver’s best efforts to practice safe driving behaviors, a person can only control his or her own actions, not those of other drivers. Not everyone drives with due care – even those who drive for a living. Motor vehicle accidents involving large commercial vehicles can be particularly devastating for those in passenger vehicles, due to the discrepancy in the vehicles’ sizes.
If you have been injured in an auto accident involving a commercial vehicle, speak with a veteran commercial truck accident attorney with a proven record of success handling such matters.