If you're driving up Interstate 81, you may pay a little more attention to the trucks on the road. That makes a lot of sense because collisions with a tractor-trailer or other heavy vehicle almost certainly mean serious damage to a car. Injury or even death are also possible consequences of a truck crash.
Most of our everyday actions do not come with a lot of risk unless we spend a lot of time climbing cliffs or diving for buried treasure. One thing we do nearly every day that can come with risk is being near trucks and other heavy vehicles.
We wouldn't be able to buy much at our local grocery stores or clothing shops if it weren't for trucks. The garbage wouldn't be taken away and the oil tanks wouldn't be refilled either. The nation relies on trucking to survive, but that doesn't change the potential danger of heavy vehicles.
Lawmakers and environmentalists in Virginia and across the country frequently talk about the concerns behind hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, which is commonly referred to as fracking, removes oil and gas from rock by injecting water and chemicals into the ground with extremely high pressure. In addition to the dangers fracking poses to the environment and wildlife, fracking may cause harm to truck drivers.
CDL holders between the ages of 18 and 20 can only travel intrastate, according to Virginia law. This holds for all other states except Hawaii. However, a bill called the DRIVE-Safe Act and introduced in February 2019 proposes a change. If passed, it would allow truckers under 21 to travel interstate after a probationary period of 400 hours of driving time, at least 240 of which would be accompanied by a trucker 21 or older.
Every year for three days, inspectors certified by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, together with local law enforcement officers, conduct an inspection spree of commercial motor vehicles, especially big rigs, with the goal of encouraging compliance with federal safety regulations. Truckers in Virginia are probably familiar with this spree; it is called the International Roadcheck.
Virginia residents should know that fatal large-truck crashes have been on the rise for over a decade. Between 2009 and 2018, their number went up 52.6% with 2018 seeing a total of 4,415 such incidents. This is largely due to several changes both in and out of the trucking industry: changes that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be analyzing in a new study.
Strict rules help protect the public from truck drivers who are texting while driving, which is a particularly dangerous behavior. Any type of distracted driving-related accident can be serious for victims, but because of the size of semi-trucks and commercial vehicles, a truck accident with a distracted truck driver can be devastating.
Every parent knows the worry that comes with putting a child on a school bus. Some wonder if the vehicles are safe.
An adult and two children were injured recently in Virginia when a tractor-trailer truck crashed into a school bus. Officials said their injuries were not life-threatening.