Drivers in North Carolina and across the country have good reason to be concerned about the dangers of trucking accidents. Crashes involving large trucks can be devastating and even deadly to people in smaller vehicles let alone cyclists or pedestrians. Those collisions are on the rise, according to federal data. In 2016, over 4,300 people were killed in large truck accidents, a 28 percent increase over the same data for 2009. Despite significant advances in safety technology since that time, however, large commercial trucks are not required to have crash-avoidance systems installed.
According to newspaper reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has spurned calls from the National Transportation Safety Board, a fellow federal agency that's seeking to impose safety technology requirements on large trucks. The collision avoidance systems can help prevent rear-end truck accidents, but only a small number of trucks have the technology installed. Reports indicate that the NTSB has recommended that the NHTSA mandate forward crash avoidance system installation on semitrucks at least 10 times since the late 1990s. Despite the recommendations, the NHTSA has not proposed any regulations on the issue.
In 2016, the NTSB criticized the lack of action by the NHTSA. In a statement, the board said that many truck accidents could have been prevented or mitigated by the installation of crash-avoidance technologies. The NTSB does not have regulatory authority. The organization investigates incidents and makes safety recommendations. The NHTSA has said that it is researching collision-avoidance systems and will decide whether to propose regulations after its tests are completed.
When people are hurt in truck accidents that were caused by fatigued, distracted or negligent drivers, they can suffer severe injuries and permanent disabilities. A personal injury lawyer can help accident victims pursue compensation for their damages, including current and future medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Kansas City Star: Changes Urged After Spike in Deadly Big Truck Crashes," September 17, 2018