Federal data shows that in all but six states, there was an increase in the number of large truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017 (the latest year for which statistics are available). Texas saw the greatest increase, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. In all, 35,882 people died in large truck collisions during that eight-year period.
Referring to this data, the highway safety non-profit Road Safe America is calling for truck fleet owners to utilize vehicle safety technology like automatic emergency braking and speed limiters. The former is a device that can alert drivers to stationary or slow-moving objects and, in the last resort, brake in the drivers’ stead.
Road Safe America regards speed limiters as especially necessary. Most of the top five states mentioned above maintain a 70 mph speed limit, which is too risky for vehicles over 80,000 pounds. The non-profit believes that commercial trucks should have their maximum speed set at 65 mph. This can give truckers more time to avoid a crash and can reduce crash severity. Back in 2016, speed limiters formed the basis for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which was jointly issued by the NHTSA and the FMCSA. These federal agencies stated that speed limiters can save lives and cut down on annual fuel costs by at least a billion dollars. However, the proposal fell through.
Collisions involving large trucks can cause devastating injuries to occupants of other vehicles, requiring extensive periods of costly medical care and treatment. When it can be demonstrated that the accident was caused by truck driver negligence, an attorney could assist a victim in seeking appropriate compensation.