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Truck Driving Safety: The Through Truck Ban

Truck driving is a challenging and dangerous profession. Every year roughly 600 truck drivers die in highway accidents in the U.S.

The most dangerous types of trucks to drive are rigs such as tankers and flatbeds. About 55 percent of all class 8 driver fatalities happen from a rollover accidents and 10 percent occur from fuel oil fires.

Recently in Maryland there was a fatal crash and explosion of a gasoline tank truck.  Since the fatal crash in August, The Maryland State Police and The Town of Port Deposit have created a Through Truck Ban.

This ban is a plan to aggressively enforce an ordinance designed to prevent trucks from using  the town as a pass through option to avoid I-95 and Route 40 toll plazas.

This ban prohibits trucks over five tons to enter town unless making local deliveries. The sweeping curves on these routes such as Route 222 are located steep hills coming west from I-95 into the town. This is risky territory for trucks because it increases the chances of truck rollovers.

If precautions are taken to reduce the chances of truck rollovers, truck drivers getting killed on the job can be reduced by almost 2/3rds.

Here are some tips on preventing truck rollovers:

1. Try not to drive a tanker with bad suspension  half empty. The tendency for that vehicle to rollover is very high because it takes a truck driver a variety of maneuvers in steering to take full control around corners. If a truck goes around a curve too fast, it will go over.

2. A rollover can happen around a curve without going too fast, if rear tires strike any object while cornering. It can be as simple as a slight hit of a curb. Be mindful of your surroundings.

3. You don’t have to be a bad driver for a rig to rollover. A rig can rollover at speeds as low as 5 mph. This can happen especially on slopes. Do your best not to put a wheel off the pavement or a paved shoulder that has separations. You don’t want to catch or trip a tire. When in doubt, go as slow as possible and go for shallow angles when possible. The more steer you put in, the easier it is to rollover.

4. Always know how your seat belt is set and how to release it in the case of an emergency.

In the majority of truck driving accidents, seat belt can save lives but rollover accidents greater than 90 degrees could impede efforts for drivers to get out alive. During these accidents it’s best to find a way to slip out the shoulder harness or disconnect the belt. Learn where the buckle is at all times and practice reaching for it with your right hand. Teach yourself to quickly release it and pull yourself down with your left hand to get out to safety. Straight and level is key to truck driving safety.

If you have any questions about Safe Truck Driving, please contact Middleton and Meads by calling 410-752-5588 or click here today!

With three locations to serve you throughout Baltimore, Washington DC and Virginia, Middleton and Meads will keep you “on the road.” Our service professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. That is why companies of all sizes depend on us – day in, day out, mile after mile.

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Source: MMTA’s E-News – FREE Commercial Vehicle Safety Summit