According to federal data, large truck crash deaths totaled 35,882 between 2009 to 2017. All but six states saw an increase in these deaths. At the same time, the number of miles driven by commercial truckers went down. North Carolina residents should know that speeding is considered a main factor in this increase. The non-profit Road Safe America is calling for certain steps to be taken to address this widespread issue.
Road Safe America points out that of the five states that saw the greatest increase in fatalities (Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania), most hold to a speed limit of 70 mph. This is too fast for any vehicle weighing more than 80,000 pounds to operate safely. For this and other reasons, the non-profit encourages speed limiting. Safety advocates say truck fleet owners should set the maximum speed to 65 mph.
In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a rule mandating the use of speed limiters, pointing to their ability to save lives and reduce fuel costs by more than $1 billion every year. However, the proposal never gained traction.
Road Safe America is also pushing for automatic emergency braking on commercial trucks. These systems can alert drivers to stationary or slow-moving objects. If the driver does not react in time, they can brake automatically.
Vehicle technology cannot prevent all commercial truck accidents since many collisions are caused by trucker negligence. However, the victim of negligence may be able to file a claim. To ensure a strong case, a plaintiff could hire a lawyer. The lawyer can negotiate for a settlement out of court.