Teens Unite to Raise Awareness of Summertime Trucking Accidents in Alabama and Elsewhere
A large group of teens met in Washington D.C. to help raise awareness about the dangers presented on our roadways each summer and to discuss the increased risks of teen car accidents.These teens pledged to recognize truck's blind spots and pledged to not text behind the wheel or a motor vehicle.
This safe teen driving event was organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Representatives from each organization spoke to students from the area. They discussed the importance of driving safely around big trucks. During the summer months we typically see an increased number of large trucks on our roadways. Unfortunately, this is when we also see an increased number of fatal teen car accidents in Birmingham and elsewhere.
Our Alabama personal injury attorneys understand that teens have much less driving experience than many of us. For this reason, they are much more vulnerable on our roadways and are more likely to be involved in serious -- if not fatal -- car accidents. Their chances of being involved in an accident with a big truck sees a significant increase during the upcoming months as teens are out of school for summer break and many commercial trucks hit the road to take care of business.
What many teens do not know is that a fully loaded tractor trailer needs approximately twice the distance to stop than a passenger vehicle needs. They may not be aware of their large blind spots either. These blind spots are known as "No Zones.” These are areas that motorists must avoid because this is where a truck driver is not able to see them.
“We want everyone to be safe, but as newer drivers, teens must adhere to a few simple rules,” said Anne Ferro, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “They are: buckle up, don’t drink and drive; don’t speed, don’t text or use your phone, and steer clear of a truck’s blind spots.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the deadliest driving days for teens ages 15-19 are in the months of May, June, July and August. It is during these four months that nearly twice as many teens died in 2009 on U.S. roadways each day as compared to the rest of the year. During these four months, an average of nearly 16 teens died each day, compared to an average of nearly nine teen deaths a day during the year as a whole.
"Prom, graduation, and summer are fantastic times for youth to celebrate and enjoy. However, with these fun times come unfortunate tragedies,” said Sandy Spavone, President of the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). “Through education, enforcement, and legislation lives can be saved and injuries prevented."
Drivers ages 16- to 24-years-old make up the age group that has the highest traffic crash death rate in the United States. As a matter of fact, from 2005 to 2009, nearly 4,000 people from this age group were killed in motor-vehicle accidents that involved a large truck.
“Do not expect that having a driver's license is a right that comes without responsibility or risk,” said Steve Keppler, Executive Director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). “Be accountable for your actions, spread the word to your friends and parents, and help create a culture of safety. Most importantly, take the driving task seriously. You never know the impact you can have that ultimately could save your life or someone else's."
Safety tips for motorists sharing the road with large trucks:
-Stay out of a truck's blind spots. If you cannot see the driver, the driver cannot see you.
-Do not follow closely behind a truck. When they let off the gas, they have a tendency to roll backwards.
-Keep both hands on the wheel when a truck is passing you or you are passing a truck.
-Allow trucks enough room to pass.
-Remember that these large vehicles take wider, and longer, turns than normal passenger vehicles.
-Don't cut in front of a large truck. They take a much longer time to stop than a passenger vehicle.