Understanding the seriousness of commercial truck accidents is something the Wisconsin State Patrols tries bring to the public’s attention at every chance it gets. As readers of our blog know, accidents involving commercial trucks–especially large semi-trucks–can end in catastrophic injury as well as death. This is usually in part because of the trucks’ size and weight which can turn even a simple fender-bender into a deadly crash.

In an effort to reduce the number of commercial truck accidents this year, the Wisconsin State Patrol will be participating in the annual Roadcheck program starting this week. The program, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, aims to reduce the number of truck accidents by removing fatigued drivers from roadways and decommissioning trucks that are deemed unsafe to operate. The state patrol cites this program as one of the major reasons Wisconsin only saw 69 large-truck crash fatalities in 2012.

During this first week in June, trained commercial motor vehicle inspectors will be patrolling the highways looking for signs of driver fatigue, unsafe driving behaviors, and any safety violations on vehicles. Patrols will also be posted at many of the state’s weigh stations, performing these inspections when drivers make a stop.

Last year alone, deputies from the state patrol conducted 1,049 inspections on commercial vehicles and identified more than 4,000 safety violations. A number of vehicles and drivers were declared out of service, possibly leading to the record low number of semi-truck fatalities that year. The hope this year is to reduce that number even more, further improving motor vehicle safety on Wisconsin’s roads.

Source: The Hudson Star-Observer, “Annual roadcheck program helps prevent large-truck crashes, starts June 4,” June 3, 2013