Proof – DOT not concerned about Trucking Safety


I know I have been harping and complaining about this topic for a while now.

I am hoping that I keep harping about this and just maybe someone in the right place and high enough up on the totem pole will see it and start questioning it as well.

I have many government officials who visit this site quite often, and maybe just maybe one visitor will be the right one to get it done.

The Department of Transportation’s mission statement: Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

The Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood seems to only be worried about getting a decree passed by outlawing sending and receiving of text and email messages for commercial drivers indicated by the outrageous (up to $2750.00) fine that can be issued. Plus it can result in a repercussion as a serious traffic violation. Professional drivers realize this is a dangerous practice. The problem is the USDOT has “no proof” that these problems even exist in the trucking industry.

They have admitted to using general public opinion polls, and a study that ONLY looked at 203 CMV drivers in 55 trucks and 4,452 “incidents” that included “near misses” as accidents. A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage. So how can that be counted as an accident? An accident is when a road vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other geographical or architectural obstacle. Traffic collisions can result in injury, property damage, and death.

Professional truck drivers have many “distractions” that we must focus on while driving. Distracted driving according to the “official distracted driving” government website is – taking your eyes off the road – taking your hands off the wheel – taking your mind off what you’re doing. Professional truck drivers while driving need to keep their eyes constantly moving by checking their mirrors, and keeping a visual check on the instrument panel gauges for problems and listening for uncommon noises that might save thousands of dollars in repairs if caught soon enough. This of course – takes our eyes off the road – and our focus off driving. So how might I ask are truckers supposed to not “drive distracted and still do their jobs safely?”

Where in the USDOT mission statement does it say they are to hand out millions of dollars to transit authorities of which most are union operated so they can continue to make $100,000 a year to drive a bus? Or give millions of dollars to states to upgrade and build roads in and out of State parks? But in the same years close rest areas because states can’t afford to pay someone to clean a toilet or mow the grass.

USDOT wants to see electronic onboard recorders on all commercial vehicles. They “claim” this will help to reduce crashes and over hours of service violations and all around just make the trucking industry safer. But add to an already prodigious problem of available safe parking by allowing the closing of numerous rest areas for lack of funding – but give millions of dollars away to upgrade and build roads in and out of state parks and call this part of the “Recovery Act.”

The USDOT wants to re-do the hours-of-service as they claim truck drivers work to hard by driving 11 hours a day and resting for 10 hours with only being able to work 14 hours per day total. But estimates show 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths occur every year within the US. Walkers and bikers account for 15% of the total traffic deaths each year. Fewer than 9% of those deaths involve commercial vehicles. More than 80% of those accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. Of those death related accidents only 4% of trucks are fatigue related.

The U.S. health care system contributes to more deaths than truck drivers. According to Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors. A surgical resident reported that in two-and-a-half years into a seven-year program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, she was routinely working 110-130 hours per week, and sometimes worked 60-hour shifts. And truck drivers are the bad people here? Who needs to be regulated?

Top 10 Most Dangerous Drivers by Profession:

Truck drivers didn’t even make the top ten list.

  1. Attorney/Judge
  2. Financial professionals
  3. Government worker
  4. Bartender or Waiter
  5. Business Professionals
  6. Dog Groomer
  7. Marketing/Advertising professionals
  8. Barber/Stylist
  9. Coach
  10. Nurse

If the USDOT were to focus on real problems within the trucking industry myself and about 4 million other drivers would not complain so much. A REAL PROBLEM in trucking is a thing called “just in time delivery.” This is where the receiving (company) does not have any storage space for any “extra” material therefore can only take shipments when they are just about out of the material. Most companies operate like this, as it is a huge cost savings. I know the USDOT has no authority in governing how companies operate. But if they would just take a look at it and study it – then they could help persuade getting this changed. This would help considerably with driving tired, and be much safer.

Parking – the lack of places to park has been a problem in trucking for years, and it only will get worse. If the USDOT were concerned about safety, then they would give some of that money towards more safer truck parking, and keep these rest areas open and build more of them. But out of 10,000 road construction projects and billions of dollars spent, not any rest areas or places to park a tractor trailer have even been considered.

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About admin

I'm just a EX-truck driver, trying to pass along a little information. I been in the Trucking Industry as a driver for over 15 years. I have driven both as an owner operator and as a company driver. I have also been a driver instructor for an accredited truck driving school in KY. I am no longer a truck driver, but I consider myself to be a watchdog for the trucking industry. In fact this site is the #1 site for getting the real news about trucking. We don't hold back here, you will hear the full story. Twitter | |Truck Drivers News Facebook
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