The number of people killed in catastrophic trucking accidents in 2015 was the nation’s highest in seven years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its final report on 2015 traffic deaths. The federal agency reports that fatalities in crashes involving trucks increased 4.4 percent over 2014. In total, 4,067 people were killed in fatal trucking accidents in 2015, which was the most since 2008.
Almost 75 Percent of Truck Accident Deaths Were Occupants of Other Vehicles
Of those who died in truck-related crashes, almost three-quarters (73.5) were passengers or drivers in vehicles other than the trucks. Another 10 percent were non-occupants of trucks or cars, such as bicyclists and pedestrians.
Overall, U.S. speeding related deaths increased 3 percent in 2015 over the year prior. Between 2012 and 2014, almost 400 people in Missouri died in traffic crashes tied to speeding.
Could speeding play a role in the rise in truck-related accident deaths? The federal government seems to think so; last month it proposed a new rule to restrict the speed truckers can drive on the nation’s highways.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposal would require that speed limiting devices be placed on all new and existing big rigs – those weighing more than 26,000 pounds. The DOT says that, depending on the established speed threshold, as many as 498 deaths in trucking accidents would be prevented.
Are Trucking Companies More Concerned With Saving Money or Saving Lives?
The American Trucking Associations, the largest trucking lobbying group, backs the new measure. The true motive for doing so may be open to debate. The DOT explains the rule will save trucking companies money – as much as $6,100 per year per truck on fuel. The ATA is on record for supporting the fuel efficiency of slower trucks.
The new rule could be years away from adoption. Until then, speeding truckers remain a deadly danger to other vehicles on the road, and fatalities may continue to climb.
If you were severely injured or had a family member die in an accident involving a large commercial truck, an experienced personal injury attorney can pursue just compensation from those responsible.
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