What’s Driving the Increase in Truck Accident Fatalities?
Highway fatalities have become increasingly common in recent years, but deaths involving semi-trucks and other big trucks have become even more widespread. While death rates in all types of vehicles have gone up, trucking deaths have increased at a rate of almost three times the rate of other types of fatalities.
More than 4,300 people died nationwide in 2016 from accidents involving big trucks. That figure is an increase of 28 percent since 2009. That’s the equivalent of two packed 737 aircraft crashing each month and killing all the passengers onboard.
According to John Lannen, a representative of the Truck Safety Coalition, “If air carriers or railroads reported similar numbers, there would be national outrage.” The two main factors in this rise in fatalities are increasing speed limits and a lack of regulation. Let’s take a closer look.
Increasing Speed Limits
Higher speed limits mean more deaths. Higher speed limits on busier highways with big trucks traveling at high speeds mean a lot more deaths.
Over the last decade, speed limits nationwide have gone up noticeably. Forty-three states now have maximum interstate limits of 70 miles per hour or higher. There were 35 such states in 2008. Seven states now have maximum limits of 80 miles per hour. There were only two of these states in 2008.
It’s simple physics. Increased speed limits mean an exponential increase in road fatalities. Americans have to make a choice between speed and safety.
Not Enough Safety Measures
There are safety measures available that would reduce the rate of fatalities related to big trucks. One of these is a device that would limit the maximum possible speed of one of these trucks to 68 miles per hour. Another is an automatic emergency braking system, which would prevent more than seven out of ten rear-end collisions involving trucks.
If the trucking industry voluntarily took on these devices, or if the federal government mandated that they equip these devices on all trucks, there would be a significant drop in road fatalities. But these changes don’t seem likely to happen any time in the immediate future.
Injured? We can help you get your life on track.
If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a crash with a big rig caused by another’s negligence, you know all too well the worries and bills that result. When you consider hiring an Indiana personal injury lawyer, we suggest you look for an attorney who will provide you with competent and compassionate representation, using an approach that always puts you first. That’s exactly what you’ll get with proven advocate attorneys Mike Stephenson and Brady Rife. The entire legal team at McNeely Stephenson is committed to doing whatever is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call Mike or Brady today for a free initial consultation. If you prefer, use our online contact form.