It’s probably not fair to say that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn’t doing anything to protect the average motorist from accidents with large trucks — but it definitely isn’t doing what it could be.
Over the last 30 years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended at least 10 times that large vehicles be equipped with technology that could significantly reduce the number of front-end collisions large trucks are involved in — something that often happens when drivers get distracted and tired.
The NHTSA has pretty much ignored the recommendations entirely until recently. Through a spokesperson, the agency recently stated that it had looked into some automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology between 2013 and 2016. It’s now doing field operation studies it expects to have completed within the next two years.
Meanwhile, accidents with big rigs keep happening and motorists in passenger vehicles keep dying or ending up with life-changing injuries. The grim reality is that motorists are less safe out there on the nation’s highways today than they were a decade ago — and it’s likely to get worse. Consumers increasingly shop from home, so that means there are more trucks on the road carrying freight just about everywhere you go.
When an 80,000-pound truck smashes into a 3,000-pound sedan, the passenger vehicle doesn’t stand a chance. In 2017 alone, 4,102 people died in accidents with large trucks. The overwhelming majority of deaths occurred to the occupants of the passenger vehicles, with only 17 percent of the dead being the truckers themselves.
If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you may decide to consult with an attorney about seeking compensation. Your family deserves to have future security and it may take an attorney’s help to make the insurance companies play fair.