Young & McCarthy LLP

Fatal truck crashes rise, and other drivers pay the price

Ohio drivers have good reason to be wary around large trucks because truck crashes are on the rise. Of the 34,439 fatal crashes that occurred across the U.S. in 2017, 4,079 involved at least one truck or bus according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In addition, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that 72% of fatalities in truck crashes are the occupants of passenger vehicles. Some trucking companies, to address this deadly trend, are turning to vehicle safety technology.

Maverick Transportation, a mid-sized company operating out of the Midwest, has installed everything from collision warning systems and roll stability control to forward-facing cameras on its fleet of 1,800 trucks. The fact that Maverick only saw one reportable accident in 2018 is attributable, the CEO believes, to these devices.

Maverick is one company that has also taken advantage of speed limiters on its trucks and set the devices to 65 mph. Speed limiters, found on all trucks built since 1992, were the subject of a NHTSA proposal. Had the proposal not failed back in 2017, it would have led to a federal mandate requiring the use of speed limiters on all heavy-duty trucks.

Many truck accidents are caused by the negligence of truckers. In their effort to meet deadlines, truckers may not only speed but also drive drowsy. Whatever the form of negligence, it could give the other side the grounds for a personal injury claim. Victims who wish to file such a claim may want a legal assessment first. If retained, a lawyer might hire investigators to gather proof against the defendant and medical experts to determine the extent of injuries. Victims may have their lawyer strive for a settlement.

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