New numbers show dangers for truck drivers on the road

4 years 9 months 1 day ago Thursday, March 05 2015 Mar 5, 2015 Thursday, March 05, 2015 12:35:00 PM CST March 05, 2015 in News
By: Tiege Dooley-Panko, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

KINGDOM CITY - Trucker by day and musician by night, Dan G. Smith said the last thing he wants to worry about is danger of the roadways. 

So he takes precautions. 

"They push safety 24/7. It's really pushed hard in everything that we do and it works," Smith said. "After a while, it works. You just remember to chop the wheels, wear the orange vest, and try to avoid unnecessary altercations." 

Smith said one problem some truck drivers deal with is sleep deprivation. 

"A lot of guys basically fall asleep at the wheel. That a big thing right now." Smith said. "They just have to be sure to get a lot of rest and be alert." 

Another issue Smith said he sees deals with cell phone usage. 

"A lot of people in cars are rocking the cell phones and not paying attention to what they're doing." Smith said. "But we don't. We would never text and drive. That's unheard of in my circle."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an estimated 317,000 motor vehicle crashes involving large trucks in the U.S. in 2012. The study said these crashes resulted in 700 deaths of truck drivers or their passengers. The report said one in six drivers of large trucks didn't use their seat belts in 2013. More than one in three truck drivers who died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing seat belts. The CDC said buckling up could have prevented up to 40 percent of these deaths.

But Smith said these statistics don't sound right. 

"I don't believe that! These guys out here have wives and kids and families just like I do and they're out working. It's a career." Smith said. "I think we're safe." 

Warren Thompson, who has independently been driving trucks across the country for six years, said he believes the CDC's numbers. 

He said, "I think it happens some. A lot of it is going to depend on the weather and other people's driving as well as their reaction to what's happening on the roads."

Thompson said he has seen some fatal accidents in Oklahoma, where he lives when he isn't driving a truck. 

"That was because a car crossed a lane and hit a semi head on," he said. 

The biggest thing he worries about when driving the truck is making sure he can stop, he said. He carries a heavy load and he said he knows he has to have a good distance between himself and the car ahead of him. 

"I have been in a situation where something happens up ahead and everyone slammed on their breaks and I had to get on my breaks harder than I wanted to to be able to stop behind them.," Thompson said. "It definitely rattles you." 

Amanda Gionetto and Mackenzie Garrett are doing a year long road trip so they're familiar with being around trucks on the roadways. The women said they don't usually fear a truck's presence, but in certain situations they get nervous. 

"When you're boxed in, that's scary. But I try not to get in those situations," Gionetto said. 

Garrett said, "Late at night sometimes you see some swerving and you cringe."

The women said the scariest situation with trucks on their road trip has been on mountain passes with skinny and curvy roads. But they said they think truck drivers are the best trained drivers on the roadways so they usually know how to stay safe. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Last winter saw major snow storms, ice, and extreme cold. This winter could see similar systems, however, the... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:00:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Winter weather is often attacked in an attempt to prove climate change and global warming are not real.... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - While most of us use the weather forecast in order to plan our own day, some people need... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 7:56:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Another recreational complex is coming to Mid-Missouri. The City of Columbia and officials from Boone County announced... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 6:38:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - Three men were charged on Thursday for being involved in a drug-trafficking conspiracy after federal agents seized... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A marijuana advocacy group said people who have legal medical marijuana licenses are still being arrested. In... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:28:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public School nurses could be getting a new medication to add to their medicine cabinets... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:42:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
TIPTON - David Dubois was taken into custody on Monday for stealing. A property owner in Fortuna, Mo. reported... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The search of the Lamine River for the body of Mengqi Ji Elledge entered its third consecutive... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:49:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Auditor's Office announced today they will deliver to Senate Leadership at least six completed... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:44:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with sodomy on Thursday after a reported sexual assault at... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrested two men when they found $1.1 million worth of THC vape... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:47:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:38:29 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's search for a new fire chief is coming to a close. A community relations specialist for... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 1:48:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
HONOLULU (AP) - The military says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two, and wounded one at the Pearl Harbor... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:04:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote a letter of support to the Cameron football team after the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 8:31:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Neighbors who live near the Lamine River have watched the search for missing Columbia woman, Mengqi Ji... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 7:17:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The victim of an attempted homicide in mid-November died in her home Friday. The Columbia Police Department... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 4:40:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
11pm 48°
12am 47°
1am 46°
2am 45°