It is never a minor incident when a passenger vehicle collides with a commercial truck or tractor-trailer. The immense size and weight of a tractor-trailer is likely to cause serious or fatal injuries to those in passenger cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 4,000 fatalities from truck accidents in the year 2016, which was a 5.4 percent increase over the year before.
What makes these figures even more alarming is the fact that the majority of truck accidents can be prevented with safety innovations, technology, and strict enforcement of truck driver safety regulations. Driver error, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are the main reasons for truck accidents, as well as the most preventable causes of serious and fatal collisions.
New car manufacturers have been embracing safety technology that has proven to increase safety on the roadway. Forward collision warning (FCW) systems and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems have reduced the number of traffic accidents on our nation’s roadways. Safety experts agree that installing these systems as well as lane departure and blind spot warning systems on commercial vehicles could significantly reduce the number of fatalities resulting from truck accidents each year.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) claims more than 100,000 motor vehicle accidents could be avoided each year with the implementation of these onboard safety features. Twenty-eight percent of all truck accidents could be prevented by integrating the forward collision warning system, automatic emergency braking system, lane departure, and blind spot warning systems into the standard safety features for commercial vehicles. A mere 15 percent of all commercial trucks currently have these safety systems in place.
Many safety precautions can increase roadway safety and decrease the likelihood of serious and fatal truck crashes.
Many commercial truck companies argue that the cost and off-road time required to install many of the latest safety systems on older trucks would significantly impact their profits; but safety experts argue that no price can be put on protecting the lives of all those on the road. The IIHS estimates that 40 percent of all trucks in the United States could realistically be outfitted with forward crash systems by the year 2020.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.