Missouri drivers who see large trucks sharing the road with them and wince at the prospect of a crash and its aftermath have reason to be concerned. Not only do these vehicles travel at significant speeds, go great distances, and are controlled by drivers who might be experiencing fatigue, but there are ingrained issues regarding truck safety that are not being addressed. For those who have been injured in a truck accident or lost a loved one because of one, it is wise to understand the various factors that contribute to these crashes.
A growing concern with truck accidents is the absence of regulatory intervention. Despite new technology available to avoid accidents, it has not been mandated for truck companies to implement these improvements into their fleets. According to statistics, there were more than 4,300 fatalities in truck crashes in 2016. That was a rise of 28 percent from 2009. However, regardless of this information, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not taken steps to stop the trend of rear-end crashes involving semis and other large trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board has implored the NHTSA to take these steps, but it has yet to do so.
Few semis have this technology even though the recommendation that it be installed has been repeatedly stated for more than 20 years. It is believed that this technology could have saved countless lives had it been put into action. The NTSB's authority is not sufficient to do any more than criticize the NHTSA and explain how beneficial it might be to have these safety devices used. With the collision avoidance advancements, as many as 70 percent of rear-end truck accidents could be prevented. Until it is mandated, the truck companies will be able to keep the status quo. With that, accidents that otherwise could have been avoided will happen causing injuries and death.
Truck accidents can be far worse than accidents between smaller vehicles. The size of the semis, their speed and other factors can lead to severe injuries, hefty medical expenses, lost time on the job, an inability to return to normal and even death. Those who were impacted by a truck accident should be aware of the continuing absence of improved safety technology as this can be important when there is an investigation and a legal case is considered. A law firm that understands all aspects of truck accidents can be of immense assistance in a case and should be called for advice.