Big Rig Safety: Are There Ways to Reduce the Chance of Collisions?
Truck accidents are some of the collisions on the road that are most likely to have fatal consequences. These accidents are especially likely to be deadly for people who are outside of the truck and who are involved in a crash, thanks to the size of the big rig and the force of the impact from the accident. If a collision occurs with a big rig, Colorado Springs truck accident attorneys can help victims or their family members to understand their legal rights and to take action against the driver or trucking company in appropriate circumstances in order to obtain compensation for losses.
Because of the severity of big rig accidents and the high likelihood a collision will result in serious injury or death, it is important for truck drivers and trucking companies to be as safe as possible. Just recently, Consumer Reports provided some important advice on reducing the risks of big rig accidents – as well as some details on why taking steps to reduce crash risks can be so important when large trucks are on the road.
Reducing the Safety Risks of Big Rigs
According to Consumer Reports, there has been a big increase in the number of fatalities from large trucks in the United States. Over the course of 2016, there were 5.4 percent more people killed in accidents with large trucks compared with one year prior. This brought the death toll up to 4,300 people.
While truck accident risks are rising, collision risks have fallen for most other types of vehicles thanks to advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems. Unfortunately, most of the trucks in the United States are more than a decade old, and they were designed and manufactured before all of these safety technologies started to come onto the market.
Many of the technologies could potentially be retrofitted into existing trucks, but this largely has not occurred. In fact, just about 15 percent of large commercial truck fleets in the United States received after-market forward collision warning or prevention systems in 2015. Had more of those systems been installed, lives could have been saved.
In fact, according to Consumer Reports, data from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has revealed that around 107,000 truck accidents each year could be prevented or the severity of the accidents could be substantially reduced if forward collision warning systems, lane departure warnings, and blind spot warnings were installed on trucks. Industry experts and safety advocates also concur that adding these features could potentially safe lives – but trucking companies largely remain resistant to any efforts on the part of regulators to mandate safety upgrades and regulations are not likely to be forthcoming any time soon in part because of this resistance.
Unfortunately, due to costs and other factors, it is likely that many large trucks will still continue to operate without advanced safety technology even when installing it could save lives. Without safety technologies, it is especially important for truck drivers to be careful and cautious when operating their vehicles. If driver negligence causes an accident to occur, Colorado Springs truck accident attorneys can help victims or their families to pursue a claim for monetary compensation for losses.