The first Monday of every September brings with it picnics, parades, a day off, and more importantly a celebration of the contributions and achievements of American workers. Labor Day also brings with it an increase in travel, which unfortunately results in a higher number of traffic related accidents and fatalities. According to Fortune, this Labor Day could be the deadliest Labor Day weekend for drivers in eight years. Accidents have been on the rise in 2016. There were 9% more fatal motor vehicle accidents from January to June of 2016 than January to June of 2015. Experts attribute this increase to a stronger economy which encourages motorists to drive more, particularly during off days and holiday weekends. The National Safety Council is predicting that 438 people will perish in traffic accidents during Labor Day weekend. Drive smart, defensive, and be aware if you plan to be on the roads.
The driver of a motorcycle died in Pittsburgh's Point Breeze area of the city after colliding with a car. The crash happened at Penn and Dallas Avenues in the mid-morning on Tuesday, August 5th. The 29 year-old driver of the motorcycle was pronounced dead at UPMC Presbyterian Hosptial. No charges have been filed, and the accident is still under investigation.
A recent study published by the Associated Press notes that hundreds of thousands of tractor-trailer and bus drivers in the nation with commercial driver's licenses should not be behind the wheel because they qualify for full federal disability payments. Many of these drivers have suffered seizures, heart attacks or unconscious spells while driving that led to deadly crashes on highways.
Driver fatigue is a primary cause of trucking accidents. Nevertheless, in December, truck safety advocates asked a federal court to block a ruling by the Transportation Department that permits commercial truckers to work longer hours. The Bush Administration had increased the number of hours, from 10 to11, that truck drivers could work without a break. Drivers are also allowed to drive up to 70 hours a week.
Police in Greene County reported a fatal crash involving a three month pregnant woman on Sunday morning. Her 37-year old passenger was ejected from the vehcile and is listed in critical condition.
Last year, a Cranberry man and two of his three triplets were killed when a wood-chipper broke free from a truck and slammed into their minivan on Route 8 in Richland Township. The driver of the truck, Bradley Demitras, 35, of Pine Township, was sentenced Tuesday to nine to 18 months in prison and six years of probation on involuntary manslaughter and other charges. Prosecutors said the chipper came free from Demitras' truck and went into the opposing lanes, killing Spencer Morrison and his 4-year-olds, Alaina and Garrett, on April 13, 2006.
According to the AAA Mid-Atlantic Report, the number of motorcycle accidents has increased over 70 percent in the last five years and have tripled over the last decade. This recent increase in motorcycle accidents is due, in part, to an increase in motorcycle riders. According to the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, older motorcycle riders (40 and over) now account for about half of all motorcycle fatalities. NHTSA data shows that in 2005, 47 percent of motorcycle riders killed in crashes were age 40 or over, compared with 25 percent ten years earlier.
Allen Smith, a former trucker driver who publishes a blog, the TruthAboutTrucking.com, has listed the Top 10 Causes of Truck Accidents as follows:
According to the Center for Injury Research & Prevention at The Childrens' Hospital of Philadelphia, young drivers between the ages 16-20 years are at a high risk for both fatal and non-fatal crashes, with the highest per capita and per-mile-driven crash rate of any age group. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, accounting for 44% of teen fatalities in the U.S. If these crash fatalities continue without intervention, 100,000 adolescents and young adults will die in young driver crashes (drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 years) in the U.S. over the next 10 years.