National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics released this fall showed some good news: The number of traffic fatalities in the country fell in 2017.
Good news for people in California and across the United States, right? In some ways, yes.
But when it comes to fatal crashes involving large trucks, no.
The number of fatal accidents involving trucks weighing greater 10,000 pounds rose in 2017, numbering 4,761 deaths. That was an increase of 9 percent from the year before and 41 percent more than in 2009.
The number of people who died in all motor vehicle accidents dropped 1.8 percent in 2017 to 37,133 deaths.
In the wake of the release of the numbers, one advocacy group recommended that federal regulations be enacted to require safety technology similar to that which is becoming standard on autos, such as emergency braking, on trucks.
“It is unacceptable that so many people continue to die on our roads while verified, lifesaving technologies like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning systems are not widely included as standard equipment in vehicles,” said the group based in Washington, D.C.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been asking for two decades to make collision warning systems mandatory on large trucks, and the NHTSA continues to study the issues.
Regulations also haven’t been put in place to require drivers to activate speed-limiting equipment already on trucks, either.
Until more regulations are put in place to make large trucks safer, we likely will continue to have thousands of truck-related deaths each year nationwide. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a large truck, call an attorney with experience working with such cases to discuss ways you can recoup your medical expenses, lost wages and more.