Licensed To Kill

The statistic is oft-repeated within the trucking industry: seven out of 10 fatal accidents between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle are caused by the passenger-vehicle driver.

Who are these reckless drivers?

In many cases, they’re either young and untrained, drunk or driving with an invalid license. Too many are behind the wheel only because certain states refuse to pass common-sense laws.

In this first of a three-part series, Overdrive examines training and licensing issues involving younger and older drivers. Subsequent installments will address problems related to alcohol and repeat offenders.

“If every driver were as trained and experienced and the same age as the average truck driver, and didn’t drink and didn’t use drugs, there’d probably be tremendous gains,” says Tim Hurd, spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There always will be some gap between professional and amateur drivers as far as entry requirements and oversight are concerned. But the facts raise serious questions about why the gap remains so broad as to needlessly risk lives.


FEATURE STORIES

The Young And The Reckless
Teen driving deaths, which exceed truck-related fatalities, are rising, but some states ignore the obvious answers.

Age Fright
States do little to check the growing segment of older drivers for their ability to drive safely.

Smashed
Efforts to fight drunk driving are stuck in cruise control while alcohol-related deaths climb.

Deadly Encores
Often unlicensed and with multiple DUIs, high-risk drivers threaten everyone on the road. What can be done to stop repeat offenders?

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