Road Safe America, the Atlanta-based highway safety non-profit, has found that all but six states experienced a rise in large truck crash deaths between 2009 and 2017. Georgia saw the fourth greatest number of truck crash deaths; the top three were Texas, California and Florida. Washington, Idaho and Colorado saw the highest percentage increase in that eight-year period.
In all, 35,882 people died during the study period in collisions with large trucks. The non-profit states that speed limiting and the use of vehicle safety tech could have improved the numbers. Many of the states mentioned above have speed limits of 70 mph or more, which is a dangerous speed for any vehicle weighing more than 80,000 pounds. Large trucks, after all, have a greater braking distance and cannot stop as quickly as other vehicles when faced with an emergency.
Speed limiters, though they have been built into American big rigs since the 1990s, are not mandatory. Road Safe America urges the mandating of these devices and recommends truck fleet owners to set them at 65 mph. At that speed, a trucker has more time to react and avoid crashes. It could also save fuel and increase profitability for fleets.
Lastly, the non-profit recommends the use of automatic emergency braking. This alerts truckers to slow-moving or stationary objects and applies the brakes automatically when truckers do not react in time.
An individual involved in a trucking accident may be left with catastrophic injuries, emotional trauma and mounting medical bills. However, if they were not to blame for the accident, they could obtain compensation for damages. This is where a lawyer may come in handy. During a case evaluation, a lawyer may determine how much victims are eligible for and then negotiate for a fair settlement with the trucking company.