Road Safe America, a highway safety non-profit organization, is urging commercial truck fleet owners in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. to utilize vehicle safety technology like automatic emergency braking. This system, which alerts drivers to slow-moving or stationary objects and applies the brakes when drivers do not react in time, can help prevent crashes.
Large truck crashes are often fatal. Even worse, their numbers don't seem to be going down. According to federal data, there were 35,882 large truck crash deaths between 2009 and 2017. While the number of miles driven by commercial truckers went down in that period, the number of fatalities actually went up. Only six states saw a decrease in fatalities. Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania saw the greatest increase.
Most of those five states, Road Safe America points out, have a 70 mph speed limit for commercial trucks. Any vehicle over 80,000 pounds should not be operating at such high speeds. For this reason, the non-profit is also recommending the use of speed limiters, or speed governors. Back in 2016, the FMCSA and NHTSA proposed a ruling that would mandate speed limiters, but the proposal never gained traction. Road Safe America encourages fleet owners to set the limit at 65 mph for big rigs since it can save lives as well as cut down on fuel costs.
Many 18-wheeler accidents arise as a result of negligence. Driving too fast for prevailing conditions is just one form, and other causes could be driver distraction or faulty truck maintenance. People who have been injured in such a crash might want to meet with an attorney in order to learn what recourse might be available.