The U.S. government recently announced steps to reduce tractor-trailer rollover crashes. According to some estimates, this will save as many as 300 lives each year from fatal commercial truck accidents.
What Causes Truck Rollover Crashes?
What causes a semi to roll over and crash? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released its Large Truck Crash Causation Study in 2008. It pinpointed numerous causes for truck rollover accidents, including:
• Truck drivers going too fast for curves in the road – accounting for almost half of all rollover crashes
• Improperly loaded cargo
• Bad brakes
• Distracted, fatigued, or inattentive truck drivers
• Oversteering by truck drivers
The U.S. Transportation Secretary recently announced new federal regulations designed to prevent these dangerous truck crashes caused largely by negligent truckers.
Beginning August 1, 2017, all new trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds must be equipped with electronic stability control systems, which are commonly referred to as ESC. In addition, new commercial buses must be outfitted with ESC beginning in 2018.
ESC overcomes a drivers’ failure to stop quickly enough or steer correctly to prevent a crash. This equipment is similar to what’s been mandated for new passenger cars since 2012.
Hundreds Killed Each Year in Truck Rollover Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the new equipment – estimated at $585 per new truck and $269 per new bus – will prevent 1,700 truck rollover accidents per year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety projects the new regulation will save 300 lives annually.
While this is a positive step in making our roads safer from big commercial trucks, it applies only to new trucks built almost two years from now. There still will be plenty of trucks susceptible to rollovers caused by bad truck driver decisions even after the law takes effect.
If a family member was killed or if you were seriously injured in a truck rollover crash – or any crash caused by a truck driver – you may want to consult an attorney who investigates catastrophic trucking accidents to discuss your legal rights to just compensation from those responsible.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.