One way to reduce the number of large truck crashes is to incorporate safety technology on trucks, especially speed limiters. This is the conclusion that the non-profit Road Safe America reached after analyzing federal data on large truck crash fatalities. Between 2009 and 2017, there were a total of 35,882 such fatalities in West Virginia and across the U.S.
Those eight years saw a significant increase in large truck crash deaths with all but six states experiencing it. Corresponding to this was a decline in the miles traveled by commercial truckers. Road Safe America found that most of the states that experienced the highest increase have speed limits of 70 mph. This is not a coincidence, according to the non-profit, because such a high speed is dangerous for large trucks.
This explains the advocacy of speed limiters; truck fleet owners should ideally have these installed and set them to a maximum of 65 mph. That way, truckers have more time to avoid accidents and, if they do crash, reduce the severity of the damage and injuries.
There is popular support for a speed limiter mandate with NHTSA and the FMCSA jointly issuing a proposal for one in 2016. One other well-known device that Road Safe America recommends for trucks is automatic emergency braking. This can prevent collisions with stationary or slow-moving objects.
Such technology is important because truckers can be negligent from time to time. Those who are involved in a truck accident will likely have their degree of fault determined, and those who are deemed to be less than 50 percent at fault will be eligible for compensation under this state's negligence law. This is where a personal injury lawyer might come in and assist with the filing of a claim. The plaintiff may opt to have the lawyer negotiate for a reasonable settlement.