Campaigns to warn drivers to be more cautious around commercial vehicles are paying off as 2011 data show traffic fatalities are down in some demographics.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has been leading campaigns since 2007 to improve driver behavior and increase safety on the roads, according to a CVSA press release.
CVSA statistics have shown that some demographics are far less careful when driving around commercial vehicles. Accordingly, some campaigns to increase highway safety have been targeted to those groups. The Teens & Trucks Program helps educate young drivers about safe driving practices near commercial vehicles. This campaign has had a significant effect on fatality statistics in the 16- to 20-year-old group.
Using statistics gathered from 2006 to 2010, fatalities from highway crashes fell most sharply among young drivers. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows an almost 40 percent drop in the number of fatalities for young drivers and a drop of only about 23 percent in overall fatalities, according to the release.
While some campaigns have focused on teaching better driving habits to teenagers, other campaigns have aimed at educating the general public about the dangers of using technology while driving.
Last year, the CVSA began targeting its Defeating Distracted Drivers campaign to a commercial driver audience. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute did a study of commercial drivers and found that texting is a significant distraction in truck cabs. The study indicated that texting makes truck drivers 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or a near crash, according to the CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver website.
For four years, the Operation Safe Driver campaign has been collecting data at roadside inspections. In 2011, the roadside inspections led to about 4.7 percent of drivers being placed out of service. This was a decrease of more than a half percent from the year before. Similarly, about 24.6 percent of the inspections led to vehicles being removed from service. That number was down from 27.4 percent the year before.
Removing unsafe drivers and unsafe vehicles is a priority of the CVSA. “Campaigns that target and remove unsafe drivers from the road, like CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver, are yielding positive results,” said the group’s executive director, Stephen A. Keppler. “CVSA will continue to educate the driving public ¨C
and especially teens ¨C about the risks they take when speeding and cutting off vehicles.”
Efforts to reduce the number of crash-related deaths and injuries have grown stronger recently. An experienced attorney can help crash victims seek compensation for health care costs, pain and suffering and even lost wages.