Trucks On Interstate 81 Essay, Research Paper
Trucks on Interstate 81
Interstate 81 is one of the most populated and most dangerous interstates in the United States. Recently there have been multiple accidents, many fatal, involving trucks on Interstate 81. But truckers are not the only ones to blame for accidents. The cars driving the highways are also at fault. Trucking is a major industry in the USA, so eliminating trucking from today’s highways is not the solution to this lethal problem. However, logical solutions can be found to conquer this life-threatening dilemma. Some of these solutions include placing limits on the hours in which truckers can continuously travel, imparting larger penalties and fines for speeding, enforcing highway regulations on trucks, and in general, just improving the conditions of America’s highways.
The first step that needs to be taken to improve the condition of Interstate 81 is to impart laws on truckers that would limit their travel time. There should be a limitation placed on the amount of hours a trucker can drive in one day. After a long day behind the wheel, truckers often get weary and their attention span and awareness level drop considerably. If regulations are placed on the hours driven, then truckers will be well rested and more attentive to what is happening on the road.
Next, larger fines need to be placed on repeat offenders of traffic violations. A speeding car is a deadly weapon, a speeding truck is a considerably larger deadly weapon, and accidents that occur involving trucks are more often fatal. Larger penalties placed on truckers and people in general might stop them from speeding on the highways. The culprit’s license should be withdrawn along with driving privileges for a period of at least 6 months.
Highways in the USA also need to be reformed. Certain lanes of a highway should be reserved for cars only, regardless if the highway only has two lanes. This rule already exists, but is not enforced thoroughly. On highways, speeding trucks surrounding drivers of cars scare the drivers. Another reform proposal could be the decrease of speed limits for trucks on highways. Many truckers might not adhere to the concept of low-speed trucks, but this concept does have many advantages. Statistically speaking, accidents that occur at speeds above 70 mph have very low human survival rates. The death rates of accidents that occur at 55 mph are extremely lower than at 70 mph. Reducing speeds for cars, though, is not as vital as reducing speeds of trucks. A very scary feeling for a driver of a car is to have a 20-ton truck bearing down travelling 15 mph faster than the car. At speeds of 55 mph, trucks would reach their theoretical maximum in speed. Without the threat of trucks intimidating the car, the driver feels more comfortable. This allows drivers of cars to focus their attention on the road, not on the truck approaching them. Also, when travelling in comfortable conditions, the driver tends to pay more attention to the road and not on the ominous trucks.
The most important thing of all is education. Driving is a responsibility. Ignorance is no excuse. Truckers need to be taught that the highway is not theirs, but everyone’s. Car drivers should also be trained on how to avoid careless truck drivers, and what to do in situations that involve reckless trucks.