Most people recognize that an accident with one of the big rigs cruising the highways of New York could be catastrophic. These commercial vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and the group Road Safe America holds the position that large trucks should not exceed speeds of 65 mph. The group cited speeding as partially to blame for the increase in fatal truck accidents from 2009 through 2017.
During this period, federal crash data indicated that big rig crashes took 35,882 lives. A report from Road Safe America highlighted the need for crash-prevention technology that could reduce the number of fatal crashes. Speed limiters could stop drivers from speeding. Automatic emergency brakes could improve stopping times and thereby reduce accidents or lessen their severity.
Because so many countries outside of the United States already require these safety devices on commercial trucks, U.S. manufacturers have been building them into big rigs since the 1990s. The lack of strong federal laws requiring transport companies to actually use the safety technology, however, has contributed to the rising rate of fatal truck wrecks even when total miles driven when down slightly. Proposals from regulators to require these safety measures have not yet succeeded in becoming law.
A victim of a truck accident might have several layers of bureaucracy to navigate when making a personal injury claim. Factors like poor trucking maintenance, driver negligence or defective truck parts could apply to a case. A person may ask an attorney to manage the case and identify who bears responsibility. A crash investigation conducted by an independent party could provide evidence about liability. An attorney might succeed in gaining a settlement during meetings with insurance adjusters, but taking the case to court remains a possibility when pursuing compensation for the client.