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CVSA hopes that Operation Safe Driver Week will save lives

Truck drivers in California and around the country may wish to be particularly vigilant during the week beginning Oct. 16. Operation Safe Driver Week is an awareness and enforcement campaign mounted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and law enforcement agencies around the country pulled over more than 20,000 vehicles and conducted more than 19,000 roadside inspections during the 2015 initiative. While attention will be paid to commercial vehicle safety features and maintenance records, the real thrust of Operation Safe Driver Week will be aimed at reckless commercial and passenger vehicle drivers.

That is because statistics reveal that the vast majority of truck accidents involve some sort of driver error. Figures from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveal that driver behavior is the primary cause of 88 percent of commercial vehicle crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle collisions.

When Operation Safe Driver Week gets underway, police will be on the lookout for passenger vehicle drivers who attempt to pass when conditions are not favorable and fail to make allowances for large and heavy vehicles that are not able to maneuver as well or stop as quickly as a car or SUV. Truck drivers could be cited if they fail to fasten their safety belts of use their cellphones while behind the wheel. Trucks that fail to obey traffic signals or change lanes without signaling will also be pulled over according to the CVSA.

Truck accident victims are often killed or suffer debilitating injuries, and personal injury attorneys may seek compensation for them by filing lawsuits against reckless truck drivers or negligent trucking companies on their behalf. Litigation may be initiated against commercial vehicle drivers when accidents are caused by fatigue, intoxication or distraction, and truck operators could be sued if they fail to maintain their vehicles adequately or ignore federal safety regulations.

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