Fatal truck wrecks across the United States are increasing at a rate almost three times that of deadly crashes overall. Among the most dangerous and deadly are rear-end truck crashes. While big trucks collide with cars in a variety of ways, experts say these types of wrecks are among the most devastating and yet perhaps the easiest to prevent with technology. Unfortunately, semi-trucks across the country are not equipped with the latest, and best, crash prevention technology.
In 2016 alone, more than 4,300 people were killed in collisions with semis and other large trucks. That represents a 28 percent increase over 2009, according to the federal government. To put this in perspective, this is equal to a 737 airplane crashing twice a month, killing everyone on board. In Illinois there was a 26% increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks, like semi-trucks, in 2016. So far, in 2019, 15% of all fatal crashes involved a semi or other large truck.
One of the major reasons why deadly truck crashes continue to increase, is the lack of crash avoidance technology being using in trucks. While crash avoidance systems are becoming common in new cars, they are rarely, if ever, used in big trucks. The auto industry has promised that this safety equipment will be standard on all new passenger vehicles sold in the United States by the year 2020, but makers of heavy trucks have not made a similar commitment. The result is that only a small fraction of semis on the road today have collision avoidance technology.
Despite the growing threat, the NHTSA has ignored repeated pleas from the National Transportation Safety Board to take action that would prevent trucks from rear-ending other vehicles. The safety board has recommended, at least 10 times since the late 1990’s, that the NHTSA require forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems on all heavy trucks. To date, the NHTSA has not taken action and issued a regulation.
If you’re in a crash with a large truck or semi, there are important steps you should take to make sure that you are protected.
First, if you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Dial 911 and explain what happened. Remain in your vehicle and move it out of traffic, if possible. Wait in your car until police arrive. Make sure that an ambulance is brought to the scene of the crash, and when the ambulance does arrive, go with the EMTs to the hospital. Follow all medical advice and do not delay doctor’s appointments.
Second, make sure you seek the advice of an attorney right away. The insurance companies for the semi or trucking company want to settle quickly. This is not usually a good idea for the victim. The truck accident attorneys at The Collins Law Firm can help gather vital information such as accident reports, driver’s logs, black box information and other key pieces of evidence that can protect your right to recover for your injuries. Moreover, we are experienced in dealing with insurance companies in motor vehicle accident claims, and we will fight to obtain the maximum compensation available to you. Call us at 630-527-1595 for a free evaluation of your case.