Despite an increase in traffic safety programs, a new report released from Road Safe America shows that big rig trucking accidents increased in almost every state. The report looked at data for trucking accidents from 2009 to 2017. Though the number of miles driven by commercial trucks decreased over the years, the number of accidents increased. However, the safety group is pushing for increased safety regulations throughout Virginia and the rest of the U.S.
In total, more than 35,000 people died in heavy commercial truck accidents in the analyzed years. Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and Pennsylvania had the greatest number of big rig accidents in 2017. Representatives for Road Safe America said that these states have higher speed limits for trucks. Large commercial vehicles can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. It takes much more time for these larger vehicles to stop and slow down. Some experts estimate that equipping large trucks with speed limiters that would prevent them from traveling over 65 mph could save lives and reduce fuel usage by $1 billion each year.
In addition to speed limiters, Road Safe America is also recommending that trucking companies install automatic emergency braking systems on every truck. The braking system is designed to alert the driver of slow-moving objects in the roadway and apply the brake automatically if the driver fails to do so.
Driving at dangerous speeds could prevent a big rig from stopping in time to avoid a life-threatening collision. If the driver failed to obey speed signs, legal action could be warranted for any injured party. A lawyer could help an injured individual fight for compensation that will cover their medical care and lost of wages.