on Kentucky Roads
A Look at the Dangers Large Trucks
and Buses Pose to Our Drivers
Truckin’ in Kentucky
Kentucky drivers are no strangers to
seeing big rigs on our roadways. Many
truck drivers pass through Kentucky
on a regular basis, not only on our
major interstates, but also on many of
our smaller roads. While most
commercial vehicle drivers observe
safety laws and comply with
regulations, accidents still happen.
Often, those accidents are caused by
driver error. Let’s take a look at some
of the specifics regarding commercial
vehicle accidents in Kentucky.
A Look at the Numbers –
Large Truck Accidents
According to NHTSA, in 2013:
There were 3,964 fatalities in large truck accidents in the U.S.
Roughly 95,000 people were injured in large truck accidents.
71 percent of people killed in large truck accidents were occupants of
Drivers of large trucks had the highest percentage (15%) of previous
recorded crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types.
80% of fatal crashes involving large trucks are multiple-vehicle crashes,
compared with 58% for fatal crashes involving passenger vehicles
Large Truck Accidents in Kentucky
The NHTSA tell us that, in 2013, there were 71 fatal
vehicle crashes involving large trucks, 8.1% of all
fatal vehicle crashes.
Kentucky is one of many states that allow drivers to
obtain an intrastate CDL at the age of 18. Federal law
prohibits truck drivers younger than 21 to cross state
lines. Studies have shown that younger truck drivers
are more likely to be involved in collisions.
Bus Crash Statistics in the U.S.
From the Federal Motor Carrier
From 2003 to 2013, intercity buses
accounted for 13 percent, school buses
accounted for 41 percent and transit
buses accounted for 33 percent of all
buses involved in fatal crashes.
From 2012 to 2013, the number of buses
involved in fatal crashes increased from
253 to 280, an increase of 11 percent,
and the vehicle involvement rate for
buses in fatal crashes increased by 8
A 2011 National Transportation Safety
Board study says, “Buses and other
commercial motor vehicles (CMV) have
a higher likelihood of fatal accident
involvement per registered vehicle.”
Causes of Commercial
There are many causes of
commercial vehicle accidents.
Here are just a few:
Improper Lane Shifts
Drowsy Driving (or Driver Fatigue)
Faulty or Poorly Maintained Brakes
When and Where Truck
The NHTSA tells us that:
64 percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks
occurred in rural areas.
79 percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks
occurred on weekdays.
Of those weekday large truck fatal crashes, 73 percent
occurred during the daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 5:59
Hours of Service Rules for
Hours of service rules are designed to regulate the number of hours a
commercial motor vehicle operator can drive consecutively.
According the HOS rules, the driver of a truck carrying property:
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty,
following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-
May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty
or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may
restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours
Hours of Service Rules For Buses
The driver of a commercial vehicle carrying passengers:
May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8
consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper
berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither
is less than 2 hours.
Excessive Speed and the
Effects on Tires
Most tires on large trucks are not
designed to travel at speeds
exceeding 75 miles per hour,
yet 16 states allow trucks to travel
at that speed or even faster.
While Kentucky speed limits don’t
exceed 70 mph, trucks that travel
over that limit or have traveled
many miles in states that do allow
those speeds, pose a danger to
all other drivers. The American
Trucking Association has been
suggesting that all states reduce
their truck-driving speed limit to
65 mph for safety reasons.
Collision Mitigation Systems
Collision mitigation systems (or collision avoidance systems) are
designed to make automobiles safer through the use of sensors
or radars that detect the possibility of an imminent crash. The
automatic system then brakes or steers the vehicle to avoid a
collision. The systems have proven to be effective tools against
traffic collisions, yet many trucks on the road are not equipped
with them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Authority has
endorsed Automatic Emergency Braking Systems, for example,
saying that they “can substantially enhance safety,
especially with the number of distracted drivers on the
Tips For Driving Around
Avoid passing these vehicles
in the right lane.
Be aware of truck and bus
Keep in mind that larger
vehicles take much longer to
come to a complete stop.
Don’t reduce your speed
immediately after passing
Pay special attention to
If You’ve Been Injured in a
Large Truck Accident…
You need an experienced Lexington truck accident lawyer like
Julie Butcher who knows this area of the law and has achieved
favorable results for many injured victims. Many big trucking
companies have a legal team ready to protect their interests so
you need an attorney who won’t be intimidated. Julie Butcher
will fight for you.
For free resources and answers to questions concerning
your central Kentucky truck or tractor-trailer accident,
contact attorney Julie Butcher online or at 1-866-77-JULIE.