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DPS pushes for truck safety

Three killed in truck accident Tuesday
Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 21:04:48-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A truck accident that killed three people Tuesday adds an extra urgency to a DPS push for stronger safety awareness in drivers, and professional truckers.
A Tucson woman, her 12 year old daughter, and a Rio Rico woman died in a seven vehicle pile up on I-10 near Ruthrauff.  DPS says a truck driver failed to stop in time for a vehicle backup and a chain reaction.
The accident happened just as DPS is starting a special push to improve commercial vehicle safety.
You are never going to find a perfect driver out here; especially if you check in the mirror.  Now DPS is working to make drivers behave more safely around trucks and truckers behave more safely around cars.
The wreck on I-10 that took three lives is a real reminder how tons of metal in a moment, can crush and kill.
It adds an extra weight to a program DPS had already planned to boost enforcement and enhance driver safety.
Troopers will be looking for violations like speeding, and driving too close. Truckers like Julio Norzagaray say regular drivers do not understand the danger they create when they cut off a truck.
“You can't maneuver because you're carrying 80,000 pounds in some of these semis and buses are the same way, 60, 65,000 pounds they don't stop and you can't jerk that vehicle because you can flip over."
And while you often hear drivers complain about truckers, drivers we met today said truckers they share the road with seem courteous and safe.
Safety stats say there's not a huge difference in the percentage of wrecks caused by professional trucks and amateur drivers.
A Federal study says 88 percent of truck wrecks are driver error, while driver mistakes cause 93 percent of passenger vehicle accidents.
Quentin Mehr of Arizona DPS says,”Why do we have collisions? It's not because of the road. It's driver behavior. Are you speeding? Are you driving without your seatbelts on? Are you tired? Are you distracted?  You need to be responsible when you're behind the wheel of that car or truck."
And part of that is understanding how trucks and cars share the same road, but do not share the same ability to stop and steer around trouble.