When a semi jackknifes, it's one of the most dangerous accidents for cars around that semi. The truck is completely out of control during this type of crash. As the trailer spins around the wrong direction, folding toward the cab -- which is what gives the accident its name -- the trailer may take up the whole road. Cars in front of, next to and behind the semi could all be drawn into a devastating crash in a matter of seconds.
There is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers to haul America's goods -- and it could be impacting the safety of the trucking industry. It's estimated that in order to move at least 70 percent of the cargo for our country, there must be no fewer than 48,000 able-bodied truck drivers available.
Most people recognize that driving while tired isn't the safest decision. However, many people find themselves in situations where it seems like they don't have another option. Commercial truck drivers all too often fall into this category.
Truck accidents are devastating. Cars get run off of the road, sandwiched between multiple trucks and hit at intersections. People suffer serious injuries and many lose their lives. In a lot of these cases, the truck drivers themselves are fine, protected by the sheer size of their vehicles, and it's others who suffer the most.
There's not much more frightening on the road in California than looking in your car's rearview mirror and seeing a huge truck barreling toward you as you wait in traffic. Just in the nick of time, the truck stops. Sigh of relief.
A study by a California-based company that uses video recorders to track the actions of truck drivers has provided eye-opening information about how companies can predict which drivers are more likely to have an accident.
It's hard to imagine anything more frightening on the road that looking in the rearview mirror and seeing a big rig barreling toward you. Or going through an intersection, with a green light, only to find a truck driver didn't obey a red light. In both instances, you do your best to take evasive action.
There is more to truck safety in California and across the country than just being a safe driver.
Think back a generation to the time when all truckers had for communication and companionship on the road were citizens band and AM radios.
Trucks are essential to the California economy. Shops would be empty and some people would go hungry if trucks stopped bringing food and consumables to small rural communities and large cities such as San Francisco.