by Pride Transport | Apr 10, 2019
With drivers on the road who don’t understand how difficult it is to handle a 4-ton truck, bad weather, needing the length of a football field to stop, people texting and driving and nothing but impatience coming their way, truck drivers have a lot to handle on a daily basis. On top of that, they have to travel on some of the most treacherous roads out there. Here are some seriously dangerous roads that truck drivers tackle as just another part of their job.
States of Danger
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of all the fatalities on the road, 2.4% are truck drivers. In some states, the number is higher. Here are the most dangerous states for truck drivers.
This state has a 3.5% fatality rate for truck drivers. Most drivers will point out that black ice and all the mountains make it so dangerous. Veteran drivers will take the I-80 to Utah then go to Los Angeles through Salt Lake City. It is a few extra miles but drivers will do it because it’s much safer.
Although it is truck country and non-CDL drivers really understand what big rig drivers have to deal with, the flash flooding and the rainy seasons give Texas a 3.6% fatality rate for truck drivers.
Drivers say that Alabama is so dangerous because it’s a central state. Drivers bringing freight on longer trips would tire in the middle of the trip. Truck drivers are allowed 11-hours per day of driving, Alabama would be a state you'd get to toward the end of that 11-hour shift.
Another reason Alabama is such a troublesome state is the prevalence of logging trucks. These trucks have logs hanging out the back and they tend to shoot a lot of road muck up on other drivers. The roads, especially in the center of the state, are glutted with logging trucks. Alabama has a 3.6% fatality rate for truck drivers.
This is a weather state. Oklahoma has a 4.6% fatality rate mostly due to severe thunderstorms and near-constant tornado activity. Drivers know, when going through Oklahoma, you keep an eye on the weather.
This states carries a 5.9% fatality rate and, again, it’s mostly due to the weather. High winds in the wide open spaces make it easy for trucks to literally blow over. In winter the winds are joined by icy roads which only serve to exacerbate the poor driving conditions.
Again, it’s the wind. There is a spot near Elk Mountain where the freeway turns diagonal, the winds here are so strong they often blow trucks over causing serious accidents both summer and winter. Wyoming weights in with a 6.7% fatality rate.
Also from November to May, veteran truck drivers say I-80 is closed most times due to snow, ice, and rain. Drivers talk of trucks waiting on the side of the road in a line as far as ten miles waiting for the freeway to open, sometimes as long as a few days.
North Dakota has the highest fatality rate coming in at 8.8%. Winters in this state are bad due to road conditions which are difficult due to weather. These conditions make things worse when drivers have the need to make good miles.
Drivers need to contend with blowing snow which piles up in ridges on the highway. People in simple four-wheel drive cars tend to travel very slow in this kind of weather which makes driving for Truckers very dangerous. And, smaller two lanes roads often go unplowed so big rigs often get stuck.
Another element that makes driving in North Dakota so dangerous is the fact that daylight is shorter in the winter months so most drivers will do a large part of their route in darkness. This can make the day feel longer, add to fatigue, and the night time is when deer and moose are most likely to be strolling around on the highways.
States of Awareness
The percentage of highway fatalities for truck drivers is highest in these States, however, according to the NHTSA, most accidents that occur on the highway are not the fault of truck drivers. Because they’re professionals, truck drivers are some of the safest drivers on the roads. Truck drivers are looking out for themselves but also, because they’re so big and heavy, they look out for all drivers on the road as well. So, especially in these areas, pay attention and help truck drivers make the roads safer for all drivers.