Commercial truck crashes not as common as they seem

In Mahoning and Trumbull counties, there has been a 21 percent drop in crashes involving commercial vehicles

Crews are out cleaning up the scene of a crash after a semi truck flipped on its side on Interstate 80.


HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been a busy week for accidents involving commercial trucks.

One of those crashes started a fire in Columbiana County. The trucker had run through a stop sign, according to police.

Another accident threw pigs out of a trailer. The accident was caused by a driver under the influence, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.

It seems like a trend, but state and local crash data says otherwise.

Statewide, there has been a reduction in crashes involving commercial vehicles. Across the state, there have been 6,000 crashes involving a commercial vehicle while there were 7,300 at this time last year.

In Mahoning and Trumbull counties, there has been a 21 percent drop in crashes involving commercial vehicles.

“As of right now, we’re at 409 total crashes compared to 491 in 2016, and our five-year average for the district is 519,” said Highway Patrol Lt. Alan Ogden.

Ogden said traffic-related fatalities have also decreased, and he contributes that to enforcement efforts in high-crash areas. Troopers complete 60 percent of their commercial inspections in these areas.

“Pretty much all of Mahoning County is a high-crash area, commercially,” Ogden said. “Then, you basically follow along 76, 80.”

Other high-volume crash areas include I-90 and US-224.

Although it’s not an exact indicator of the number of truck drivers, the State of Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles reports that the number of Commercial Drivers Licenses handed out has fallen by about 9,000 since 2012. While not every accident involves a truck, they’re not all caused by a trucker either.

One thing that troopers definitely see from all drivers is distracted driving, and that can be dangerous for a trucker or a vehicle around a turn.

“If we’re driving around commercial vehicles, be aware of the no-zone. Basically, if you can’t see the driver’s mirror, he can’t see you,” Ogden said.

Last year, 14,000 crashes in Ohio were caused by distracted driving, and that’s more than just people texting behind the wheel. It includes drivers looking at scenery, daydreaming, talking, adjusting the radio, reading or even putting on makeup.

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