Many motorists get uneasy when driving in the presence of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. But according to new driver safety data, the risks don't necessary lie in the commercial vehicles themselves, but rather how other cars behave around them.
And while motorists may want to point the finger at commercial vehicles for the serious and sometimes fatal car or truck accidents they're involved in, a large percentage of motorists aren't doing their part to protect themselves.
These are the conclusions of data gathered from Operation Safe Driver 2012, a campaign led by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliances. The campaign gathers a large body of data culled from law enforcement stops all throughout Ohio and the rest of the United States and Canada, analyzing the information to identify trends in roadway safety.
This most recent campaign's numbers suggest that car accident risks are most influenced by passenger vehicles speeding excessively in the presence of commercial vehicles. The combination of dangerous passenger vehicle behavior and limited handling of commercial vehicles can conspire to increase the risk of a truck crash.
Despite the increased concerns, though, a large percentage of drivers aren't wearing seat belts. Compared to the numbers of the 2011 campaign, the percentage of seat belt violations handed out is on the rise.
The data was gathered from 35,000 traffic stops performed by more than 2,900 law enforcement officers in about 1,200 different locations.
In addition to failure to wear a seat belt and speeding violations, the third-most common violation was for a failure to obey a traffic control device.
Source: Trucking Info, "Car drivers issued warnings, citations at more than twice the rate of CMV drivers," Jan. 14, 2013