Eighteen Wheeler and Tractor Trailer Crashes Is Anyone In Charge Here?
To put it in perspective, a fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh twenty times as much as a full-size car. This effects the potential damage it can cause in a collison and also dramatically effects the braking and maneuverability of such vehicles.
Efforts to reduce such accidents are many. (http://www.maryland-law.com/library/tractor-trailer-safety-issue-number-one-medical-certification.cfm and http://www.maryland-law.com/library/tractor-trailer-safety-developments-save-lives.cfm)
Overall these efforts are subject to scrutiny by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The mission statement of this federal entity is "focused on reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses."
The F.M.C.S.A. became a separate administration on January 1, 2000, within the United States Department of Transportation. Their job is a tricky one, balancing the cost-effective movement of goods across our country while maximizing public safety. Their tools include educational efforts directed at drivers, utilization of crash data to identify higher risk commercial trucking carriers and promulgation and enforcement of rules to enhance safe operation.
Two of the tools for investigation of commercial trucking company safety are the Safer and Safestat databases on the F.M.C.S.A. website. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/sites/company-safety.htm
A more comprehensive array of information is available for a relatively nominal cost through the Company Safety Profile or C.S.P.