Road Safe America has looked at federal data on large truck crashes from 2009 to 2017, finding that there was an increase in large truck crash deaths in all but six states. A total of 35,882 people died in such crashes in that eight-year period. Ohio residents should know that the highway safety non-profit advises truck fleet owners to incorporate vehicle safety technology as a way to address the trend.
The states that saw the highest percentage increase in large truck crash deaths were Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Nevada. Those with the highest number of large crash deaths in 2017 were Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Road Safe America found that most of these states have a truck speed limit of 70 mph or more: an unsafe speed for any vehicles weighing more than 80,000 pounds.
Big rigs have longer stopping distances than other vehicles, so 65 mph is a safer speed. Road Safe America believes that speed limiters, if set at this speed, can help prevent large truck crashes and reduce the severity of any that occur. The non-profit is also encouraging the use of automatic emergency braking.
Speed limiters are not mandated in the U.S. NHTSA and the FMCSA jointly proposed to mandate it, but it fell through. In a recent national survey, 80 percent of respondents supported the idea.
When large trucks are involved in motor vehicle accidents, the occupants of passenger vehicles usually get the worst of it. Those who survive may be left with catastrophic injuries and a diminished capacity to earn a living. Under personal injury law, however, victims might be able to file a claim against the trucking company and be compensated for these and other losses. Victims may benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney.