As the number of large truck deaths continues to rise, the highway safety non-profit Road Safe America urges truck fleet owners in Illinois and across the U.S. to incorporate vehicle safety technology. One device they recommend is automatic emergency braking, which alerts drivers to stationary or slow-moving objects and applies the brakes when drivers do not react in time.
The non-profit is also advocating the use of speed governors. Ideally, 65 mph should be the maximum speed set for large commercial trucks. Speed limiting gives truckers more time to avoid a crash and can lessen the severity of any crashes that do occur.
These recommendations come in the wake of federal data showing an increase in large truck crash deaths between 2009 and 2017. All but six states experienced it. A total of 35,882 people died in large truck crashes during that time. The five states with the highest increase were Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Significantly, most of these five states set the speed limit at a dangerous 70 mph for commercial truck drivers.
Speed limiting was the subject of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking jointly issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The notice claimed that speed limiting can save lives and fuel costs, but it never gained any traction.
Not all accidents can be prevented through safety tech, though, as long as the truck drivers themselves choose to be negligent. For example, truck driver fatigue factors into all too many accidents. Victims of another's negligence may be eligible for compensation under personal injury law, so they may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and determine how much they may recover. The lawyer might negotiate for a fair settlement with the negligent trucker's employer and litigate if one cannot be achieved.