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Troopers encourage commercial vehicle safety

• Jun 25, 2019 at 9:00 PM

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to use caution when driving around commercial vehicles.

“Large trucks and buses have operating limitations such as blind spots, longer stopping distances and limited maneuverability, making it essential for all drivers to focus on safety,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said.

The blind spots are located directly behind, in front and on either side of the vehicle. Those areas are more prone to crashes because the commercial driver cannot see the other vehicle.

From 2016 through 2018, there were 59,527 crashes on Ohio’s roadways involving at least one commercial vehicle. That represented 7 percent of all crashes that occurred during this time. Of those, 259 crashes occurred in Huron County.

Of the seven counties that border Huron County, only Crawford had a lower crash total. Here are the figures for neighboring counties: Lorain, 1,233 crashes; Sandusky, 656; Richland, 655; Erie, 531; Ashland, 405; Seneca, 259; Crawford, 162.

“Many of the crashes involving commercial vehicles can be avoided when everyone exercises caution,” said Lt. Richard Reeder, Commander of the Milan Post. “Motorists need to be aware of a truck’s blind spots and allow them more room to turn, change lanes and stop.”

Here are other statistics:

• Among the commercial vehicle-involved crashes were 412 fatal crashes in which 462 people were killed while another 17,567 people were injured. Commercial vehicles were involved in 13% of all fatal crashes from 2016-2018.

• From 2016 to 2018, only 12% of those killed in crashes involving commercial vehicles were occupants of a commercial vehicle. The remaining fatalities were either occupants of other vehicles (78%) or were non-motorists such as pedestrians or bicyclists (11%).

• A Commercial vehicle was at-fault in 57% of all commercial vehicle crashes from 2016-2018. However, in fatal crashes, the commercial vehicle was only at-fault 29% of the time. An improper lane change was the most common reason a commercial vehicle was at fault in a crash.

To ensure trucks using Ohio’s roads are safe, the patrol’s commercial motor vehicle inspectors conducted 254,387 vehicle inspections in the last two years. In the same time frame, the Patrol discovered 280,366 safety violations and placed 54,678 trucks/drivers out of service.

Safety inspections follow a thorough process to guarantee both the truck and the driver meet state and federal regulations.

If vehicles and drivers fail to meet these regulations, they may be placed out of service and cannot continue operation until regulation standards are met.

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