According to recent statistics from Road Safe America, big rig crash fatalities rose 42% between 2009 and 2017. In 2017 alone, more than 4,200 people died in fatal trucking accidents across the United States – up from 2,983 in 2009. This increase has occurred despite the fact that truck miles driven has remained the same over this decade. Of all the states in the country, however, five states had the largest percentage increase in truck crash deaths: Washington, Idaho, Texas, Nevada, and Colorado.
Since the 1990s, truck manufacturers have been searching for ways to improve large big rig safety. As a result, they’ve installed speed limiters on trucks, however, there is no law that currently requires truckers to use them. In Europe, speed limiters have been in use since 1992 and automatic braking has been used since 2012. Since then, the number of trucking accident fatalities has fallen by 20%. But in the United States, resistance to the use of speed limiters has slowed safety progress.
However, more than 70% of class 7 and class 8 trucks do voluntarily use speed limiters and some companies have even set them at 65 mph to reduce the number of crashes. While this may increase the time it takes to deliver goods across the country, it reduces the money trucking companies spend on fuel and maintenance, as well as costly litigation after a devastating crash. Statistics have shown that setting trucking speed limiters at 65 mph would prevent 100 deaths per month alone!
Now, safety organizations such as Road Safe America are urging Congress to require all big rigs to use speed limiters set to 65 mph and to include automatic braking technology. These are easy safety implementations that our country could make now to reduce the number of deadly trucking accidents every year.
However, opponents to this law believe that it will have no direct affect on safety whatsoever. After all, the trucking industry already spends $9 billion every year in safety training and technology programs to help mitigate the severity of trucking crashes. Also, many believe that up to 75% of all big rig crashes are the result of the actions of other motorists, such as cutting off a big rig in traffic or stopping suddenly. Even with speed limiter technology and automatic braking, many of these deadly accidents would still occur.
Have you been injured in a big rig trucking accident? Has someone you love been killed in a large commercial truck crash? When the unthinkable happens, you need an experienced and dedicated Fort Collins trucking accident lawyer on your side. From the very start, our trucking accident attorneys can help you and your family through this difficult time. Call the Fowler Law Firm today at (970) 232-3322 to find out how we can use our legal experience to help you recover maximum compensation.