Other drivers most at risk in large truck crashes

Published on May 17th, 2019

Illinois drivers may know that in the majority of collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles, it is the occupants of the latter who fare worse. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration states that passenger vehicle occupants make up 72% of the fatalities in truck crashes.

Even worse, large truck crashes are on the rise. Florida, for instance, has seen the number rise from 23,515 in 2014 to 32,513 in 2018, and the Florida Department of Transportation says speeding is the number one driver-related factor in these crashes. Speed limiters provide a possible solution, and many trucking companies are starting to use them.

One such company is Maverick Transportation, which has set the speed limiter to 65 mph on its fleet of 1,800 trucks. Maverick has also installed everything from roll stability control to collision warning systems and lane departure warning. The result of this was that Maverick only saw one reportable accident in 2018; a reportable accident is one involving an injury or requiring the truck to be towed.

Truck safety advocates have been pushing for a federal rule mandating the use of speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks. NHTSA proposed such a rule, but the proposal was rejected back in 2017. Speed limiters are found on all trucks built since 1992.

Even when truck accidents are not fatal, they can leave victims with severe injuries that necessitate long-term medical treatments. If victims are not at fault, they have a right to seek compensation from the trucking company, but they will likely meet strong opposition from the company’s team of lawyers. Those who wish to file a claim might want legal guidance of their own. A lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement covering medical expenses and other losses like vehicle damage and lost wages.

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