I wrote last week about why truck driver training is so important. In summary, I wrote that training is so important because 18-wheelers are just so different from the vehicles that you and I drive every day. In this entry, I just want to point out some statistics that I hope drive this point home. This data is very important because it is from Arkansas specifically.
I cringe every time I pass smashed up vehicles sitting on the side of the road. When I see that a big truck was involved, the worst thoughts enter my mind. A Camry or Focus is usually no match for a Freightliner or Peterbilt. Astoundingly, in Arkansas in 2008, 77 people died as a result of run-ins with large trucks. It is very surprising that more people did not die when you consider the 1,997 non-fatal big truck crashes that occurred in Arkansas in the same year. In these crashes, 879 people were lucky to get away with just injuries. I say “just” injuries, but that is for sure an understatement. It is not likely that all of these people walked away from these crashes. Rather, many will probably have to deal with permanent problems caused by these run-ins for the rest of their life. It is a sad thought that one day on the road can change the rest of a person’s life! While much less important than the people involved in these crashes, it is interesting to note that 1,291 vehicles had to be towed away from the scene of these crashes.Another chilling fact is that 25 large trucks displaying Hazmat Placards were involved in crashes in the Natural State in 2008.
I believe these facts highlight the importance of proper driver training for 18-wheelers. Let these sink in, and be careful on the road!