According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, lane departure warning and onboard, video-based systems; air disc brakes; and automatic emergency braking are the safety devices that can most effectively prevent truck-related crashes. Drivers in New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. tend to be wary of sharing the road with trucks and are naturally eager to see these measures put into use by trucking companies.
Trucks are more likely to crash on New Jersey roads if they have safety defects or if their drivers have been working a long shift, according to a study. The research was sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and published in December 2016.
Investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine have published a study finding links between the medical histories and crash records of commercial truck drivers. The records of 49,464 drivers in New Jersey and across the U.S. were examined to produce the following conclusions.
Many New Jersey drivers have probably noticed at least one big rig or tractor trailer sporting spiked wheel ornaments. These ornaments have received critical attention due to their connection with accident injuries and accident risks. Trucking companies, truck drivers and the government are taking notice.
Some New Jersey truck drivers might have been among those whose vehicles were inspected on May 3 during an unannounced Brake Safety Day conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The inspections took place in 10 Canadian provinces and 33 states, and more than 9,500 inspections occurred. Almost 2,000 trucks were taken out of service, and more than 1,100 of those were for brake violations.
Maintaining good health can be difficult for truck drivers in New Jersey and around the country. Spending most of the working day sitting behind the wheel of a semi-tractor trailer does not provide the body with much in the way of exercise, and many of the dishes offered at truck stops are not generally known for their nutritional value. The U.S. Department of Transportation assessed the health of the nation's long-haul truck drivers in 2014, and it found that commercial vehicle operators are more than twice as likely to be overweight, diabetic and cigarette smokers.
The number of buses and large trucks involved in fatal collisions in New Jersey and around the country has been increasing steadily, and 2015 was particularly deadly according to figures from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration. The agency has reported that 4,311 commercial large and buses were involved in fatal accidents in 2015, which represents an 8 percent year-over-year increase. The rate at which those vehicles were involved in deadly crashes per 100 million miles traveled also increased from 1.34 to 1.45 according to the report.
New Jersey highways are some of the most congested on the East Coast, laden with trucks and trailers pulling all forms of cargo to and from ports, farms, warehouses and retailers. Drivers may soon have to contend with a new type of truck, one that is autonomous.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be repeating its annual inspection blitz during three days in June in 2017. For 72 hours, CVSA members across North America will conduct as many safety inspections on as many commercial vehicles as they can.
Technology companies hope to someday automate commercial vehicles that travel the highways in New Jersey and nationwide. One California company is developing a remote control system that will allow operators to navigate trucks to their delivery destinations. The system transmits data collected with cameras and radar on a truck to an operations center where a person can drive the vehicle.