Sharing the Road with Large TrucksSeptember 27, 2018
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 5.4 percent increase in fatal truck accidents from 2015 to 2016. Despite the latest advances in safety technology, these devastating accidents continue to claim the lives of thousands of motorists.
There are numerous things that motorists, truck drivers, and the trucking industry can do to prevent many of these accidents and fatalities from occurring on the roads and highways across the country.
While advanced safety features like forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) are becoming standard in most newer cars and trucks, many of the trucks on the road today are over a decade old, so they are not equipped with these potentially life-saving features.
In fact, according to a report by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), in 2015, only 15 percent of all large commercial trucks were equipped with FCW/collision-mitigation systems.
This is unfortunate, considering the fact that approximately 28 percent of the 107,000 crashes that occur each year in the United States could be prevented, or result in less severe injuries, if features like blind-spot warnings (BSW), lane-departure warnings (LDW), and stability controls were onboard.
According to Consumer Report’s director of auto testing, it is particularly important that these big rigs are equipped with safety technology, because of the sheer size and weight of the average commercial truck.
Not only do these safety features alert the truck driver to an imminent danger, but they also help prevent collisions from occurring.
Driving Behaviors of Truck Drivers Versus Passenger Vehicles
When a passenger vehicle is an unwitting participant in an accident involving an 80,000-pound truck, the passengers of the car, SUV, or small truck often suffer massive, frequently fatal injuries. However, this does not mean that the truck driver is always at fault.
While there are certainly some truck drivers who use the size and force of their rig to intimidate other motorists, by not allowing them to change lanes or merge into traffic, research indicates that roughly 70 percent of fatal truck accidents are caused by the driving behavior of the person in the passenger vehicle.
In addition, the majority of head-on collisions are caused by passenger vehicles that cross the center line of traffic and end up in the path of a large truck.
When sharing the road with large trucks, motorists may not realize that it takes trucks up to 40 percent more distance to come to a complete stop, compared to passenger vehicles.
In addition to the safety technology, there are additional changes that could be implemented to help reduce the number of truck accidents. For example, lowering the speed limit for trucks and improving trailer guards so that cars do not slide under the truck when there is a collision. Onboard electronic logging devices can also help prevent drowsy driving that can result from exceeding the recommended hours of service.
Additional safety training for all truck drivers can also help prevent accidents and save lives.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Serious Truck Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. If the driver of the truck was responsible for the crash, we will work tirelessly to hold that person responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.