Truck crashes are on the rise in West Virginia and other states. Florida, in particular, has seen its number jump from 23,515 to 32,513 between 2014 and 2018. The Florida Department of Transportation reports that the leading operator-related factor in these crashes is speeding.
When truckers are negligent, it is usually other drivers who pay the price. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration claims that 72% of truck crash fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants. It is therefore incumbent on all trucking companies to do something to reduce these crash numbers. This is where safety technology comes in.
Maverick Transportation, for example, is a mid-sized company based in the Midwest that has installed all kinds of devices on its fleet of 1,800 trucks. These devices include collision warning systems, roll stability control, lane departure warning systems and forward-facing cameras. Maverick’s CEO says that this safety tech led to the fleet getting in just one crash last year that was reportable to the Department of Transportation.
Another important step, according to the CEO, is to use speed limiters. Maverick’s fleet has had its speed limiters set to 65 mph. All U.S. trucks built since 1992 have the devices, and there has been a decade-long push from truck safety advocates to mandate their use. However, all mandate proposals have failed.
One problem is that truckers who are intent on violating regulations may find ways to manipulate and disable safety devices. If they cause a crash, however, they will be held responsible, and the employer might face a truck accident claim. Victims may want a lawyer by their side, especially for negotiations with trucking companies and their legal teams.