Midwestern trucking experts say a recent rise in traffic accidents may have something to do with people’s excitement to leave their house.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities are way up in Illinois in 2021 with 100 more traffic related deaths this year than in all of 2020 – a trend that experts are calling unusual.
“What we have seen is an increase in the number of accidents. And the overriding cause of that increase in accidents is speed,” said Don Schaefer, executive vice president of the Mid-West Truckers Association. “People want to get out and they want to drive fast.”
In addition to speeding, other experts speculate that boredom may have something to do with the rise in incidents. Truckers have been working harder than ever in the last year and truck driving instructor Kenneth Baker says that some drivers may be tired if it.
“It’s repetitive, repetitive, repetitive – I’m going to go to this same place every day. But then, something changes,” Baker said to HOI ABC News. “You need to be proactive instead of reactive when you drive down that road.”
Apart from boredom, Baker also speculates that the recent rise in shipping has led to an even bigger increase in need for drivers, which may have more, less experienced truckers out on the road and could lead to issues for everyone involved.
“The Federal government can – and has – shut down trucking companies for bad safety records,” Schaefer said. “They have revoked the licenses of truck drivers with repeated safety issues. The fact is, safety drives the industry. When they are out on the road, I try to teach them every little thing that they need to look out for … I can’t teach them everything – a lot of it is self-learned out there on the road – but you learn as you go,” Baker said.