According to the United States Department of Transportation, in 2008 there were greater than a half a million injuries and approximately 6,000 deaths due to distracted driving. As a result, distracted driving has become the main safety focus of the DOT.
National safety campaign
Several private and government organizations have also come together to combat distracted driving through the efforts of Operation Safe Driver, a program that runs every year for four days in October. OSD is a collaborative effort of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the American Trucking Association, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other highway safety organizations.
OSD seeks to remind all drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, aggressive driving and speeding, and it also aims to cut down specifically on the number of deaths and injuries from crashes between commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
Safety tips from commercial drivers
OSD employs the services of select professional truck drivers with outstanding safety records to offer safety advice for both commercial vehicle drivers and passenger vehicles during live events and online. Some of their advice includes:
- Do not talk on cell phones or text and drive
- Beware of other forms of distraction, such as radios, since turning attention away from the road for even two seconds doubles the likelihood of being in an accident
- Remember that large trucks have blind spots: if a driver cannot see the truck driver in her or his mirrors, he truck driver cannot see the other driver
- Do not cut in front of large trucks because it takes longer for them to adjust their speed and to stop, due to their weight
- Slow down and allow a safe distance between vehicles, as well as other potential obstacles down the road
- Wear seat belts – seat belts do save lives
In addition to education efforts, during OSD law enforcement is particularly assertive about cracking down on aggressive and fatigued driving by truck and bus drivers. The OSD campaign has proven successful so far as evidenced by the fact there was a 30 percent decrease in bus and truck fatalities between 2005 and 2010.
Seek legal assistance
If you have been harmed in an accident with a commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck or delivery van, it is advisable to seek out a knowledgeable New Jersey personal injury attorney to help you with a possible negligence claim.
An attorney can aid in you in determining you have a claim against the driver of the vehicle or the company that owns it, in cases of negligent maintenance. An attorney can also make sure that you receive all the potential damages you may be entitled to such as: medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, and property damage.
Click here to learn more about cases involving intoxicated truck drivers.