Per a report from the U.S. Transportation Department, the number of people killed in large-truck crashes increased for the fourth year in a row, with nearly 4,000 fatalities in 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that deaths have increased by 17 percent since 2009, so it is no surprise that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is urging regulators to adopt a variety of new safety regulations.
In an interview, the NTSB's director stated that there are a number of technological improvements that are already available to help reduce crashes. Examples of this include new systems that use sensors to warn truckers when they are about to collide with another vehicle or are changing lanes.
Another issue that the NTSB points out is that driver fatigue is still a significant concern. While the board can make recommendations, it is not a legislative body, so trucking companies can ignore suggestions to improve managing fatigue on the roads. Additionally, Congress weakened regulations aimed at reducing driver fatigue due to a concern that the new rules might lead to a greater number of large trucks on the road during rush hours.
Along with all of the other possible reasons for being in an accident, such as distracted driving or poor road conditions, people may also find themselves in crashes due with a semi-truck due to improper tie downs or fatigued drivers. Since the consequences of a large truck accident tend to be even more catastrophic than those involving standard sized vehicles, it is essential that trucking companies maintain rigorous safety standards. If someone believes they have been in a truck accident due to a company's negligence, an attorney may be able to help them obtain compensation appropriate to their circumstances.
Source: Bloomberg, "Trucking Safety Should Be a Higher U.S. Priority, NTSB Says," Alan Levin, Jan. 13, 2015
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