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From 2009 to 2013, Pennsylvania experienced anywhere from 134 to 166 deaths in large truck accidents each year.

NBC Philadelphia reported on a severe accident in which a trailer rammed into a tanker, leaving one man dead at the scene. The crash occurred along South Park Avenue after the trailer of a tractor-trailer became separated from the truck's cab. It then careened head-on into the tanker. The tanker's driver was trapped inside his vehicle and died.

Truck Accident Fatalities All Too Common

Pennsylvania roads experience more fatal truck accidents than most people may realize. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 155 people lost their lives in accidents involving large trucks in 2013 alone. The prior year, that number was 166.

Between 2009 and 2013, Lycoming County was the location of seven deaths in large commercial truck accidents. That was actually the third highest number among all of Lycoming County's bordering counties. The region's truck accident fatality count for those five years includes:

  • 20 deaths in Bradford County
  • Eight deaths in Columbia County
  • Six deaths each in Union and Northumberland counties
  • Four deaths each in Tioga and Clinton counties

Sullivan and Potter counties each experienced two fatalities in accidents involving large commercial vehicles.

Is There Hope For Improved Safety?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency tasked with monitoring commercial transportation in the United States. The FMCSA has identified three areas for potential safety improvement. These are drug and alcohol use among drivers, truck driver fatigue and truckers driving at high speeds.

The Commercial Carrier Journal reports that the FMCSA has been developing a new system for screening drivers before they are hired. This includes mandatory substance testing and a thorough check of drivers' records. A new database is being compiled and will serve as the central repository for driver information. Drivers who refuse substance testing will be ineligible to work in driving positions.

Truck drivers can understandably become fatigued when they spend many long and lonely hours on the road. It is for this reason that the FMCSA attempted to amend the break and rest rules for truckers in 2013. According to Supply Chain Digest, the Hours of Service rule change was met with some resistance and put on hold by Congress. The FMCSA was ordered to conduct additional research regarding the matter. JOC.com notes that the research has been done and a report with the findings could be presented as early as the end of 2015.

Speeding may be tracked by using special monitoring devices in vehicles reports Business Insurance. There is no specific decision on if or when this may happen but it is being investigated.

What Else Can Pennsylvania Residents Do?

Perhaps one of the most important things for motorists to do is to be prepared to take action if an accident happens. Calling a Williamsport lawyer at Casale & Bonner, at 570-326-7044m promptly should be done in these situations.