Fatal Truck Crashes Soar Amid Safety Reform Debate

Fatal crashes involving large trucks increased 13% from 2020 to 2021, reaching the highest number in nearly four decades, according to a preliminary report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, some reports claim the federal government has still not acted on many recommended safety steps.

Last year, more than 5,600 people were killed in crashes involving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. This was the most recorded since 1985, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, prompting backlash from the Truck Safety Coalition as to why more hasn’t been done with safety regulations. According to the article, federal transportation officials are finally taking action, with President Biden signing a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law that includes truck safety improvements such as automated braking systems for trucks heavier than 26,000 lbs. It also sets new standards for rear under guards so cars are less likely to be wedged underneath a truck.

However, the safety steps fall short of recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board and safety advocates, noted the article. Congress did not include lane-warning devices or collision avoidance systems in the new safety requirements. Neither did they address driver fatigue, sleep apnea, or how long truck drivers are allowed to be on duty.

If negligence or error has caused a trucking accident involving you or someone you love, an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident litigator may be able to help you secure compensation for your losses. Please reach out to us if you think you may have a case.