Commercial truck drivers aren’t inherently unsafe on the roads – but they do navigate 80,000 lb. trucks (when fully loaded) that can cause quite a bit of damage in a wreck.
Let’s start with a statistic: In its annual report, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cites 2015 data showing 4,311 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses – an eight percent increase from the year before.
You can do a lot with statistics. You can skew the numbers in your favor, cite trends of upward or downward trajectories, or simply pick a number – like 4,311 fatal crashes in 2015 – and cry foul. But the reality of how to “fix” things – how to prevent sleepy truckers from staying behind the wheel too long, for example – is generally more complicated.
That said, lawmakers are giving it a shot when it comes to the hours-of-service regulations.