Addressing the association's safety awards banquet last week, SCTA President & CEO J. Richards Todd expressed his concern over the recent serious tractor-trailer accidents which have occurred, particularly along the I-85 corridor in the Up-state's Piedmont region.
"As an industry, when you consider the difficulty of the job, our drivers are exceptionally good at what they do. But we have a certain small element of speeders and tailgaters. Those are the ones we must concentrate our efforts and resources on."
Todd says he needs help from the state and federal enforcement agencies that regulate traffic safety and truck safety regulations. But he says enforcement can only do so much, and that trucks are only a part of the overall safety problem. According to Todd, Department of Public Safety statistics indicate that in fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers and other vehicles, over 70% of the time, the driver of the other vehicle was a contributor to the accident.
Industry safety officials say that car drivers generally cause many of the problems by the way they drive around commercial vehicles. But Todd admits that too many professional drivers do their share of contributing too. "We must bridle the rogues."
According to state officials, driver error and/or inattention, whether on the part of the truck or car driver, is the primary cause in well over 90% of highway collisions.
Todd indicated his organization is working on a "laundry list" of trucking and general highway safety initiatives. But he warns that there is no "silver bullet" that will cure the problems on crowded, road-raged roadways. "Congestion, construction and contempt pose serious threats on our highways."