NHTSA Reports Another Year of Record-Setting Fatalities from Large Truck Crashes

NHTSA Reports Another Year of Record-Setting Fatalities from Large Truck Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its annual report on traffic fatalities for 2022. Unfortunately, the numbers are grim. These deaths have once again surged, surpassing 5,900 lives lost.

As the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) Board President Tami Friedrich stated, “This is unacceptable.”

These numbers demonstrate that it is time for the government to take decisive action to prevent further loss of life on our roads.

The Alarming Statistics

According to the report, a stunning 5,936 people, including truck drivers, lost their lives in accidents. Along with that, over 160,000 individuals were injured in commercial motor vehicle crashes.

What do these numbers mean? Since 2009, there has been a 75% increase in truck crash fatalities.

There was another shocking statistic from the report: around 97% of all truck-related accident deaths were among those occupants in passenger vehicles.

Despite the government striving toward safer passenger vehicle requirements, there is still a long way to go to keep everyone protected on the road.

Demanding Immediate Steps to Save Lives

Due to the urgency of the situation, the Truck Safety Coalition has made a list of demands for better effective safety measures. These actions have been listed as a starting point to prevent serious crashes that take innocent lives on America’s roads.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

The TSC wants to implement AEB and ADAS in every commercial vehicle. With these safety measures in place, they can prevent collisions by warning drivers or automatically applying brakes before a crash. These systems can save lives by preventing rear-end collisions and reducing the severity of accidents.

Speed Limiters

Additionally, the TSC would want to expedite a proposed rule to mandate speed limiters in all commercial motor vehicles. As we already know, speed is a major contributor to numerous accidents. Limiting speed can help keep the highways and roadways safe for all drivers and passengers.

Rear and Side Underride Guards

Another suggestion concerns the mandatory installation of rear and side underride guards. Often, if a smaller vehicle is involved in a large commercial vehicle accident, it can slide underneath the sides or rear of that truck. With these guards in place, they can prevent these incidents.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

The TSC also demands legislative action regarding raising minimum insurance requirements. A pending bill, H.R. 6884, known as the Fair Compensation for Truck Crash Victims Act, already outlines these changes. With adequate insurance coverage, all truck accident victims can recover fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

New Entrant Knowledge Test

Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) should initiate rulemaking to require a New Entrant Knowledge Test for new motor carriers. All drivers need to demonstrate a comprehension of the regulations and rules of the industry to ensure the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles for interstate commerce.

Protect Existing Safety Measures

Despite these alarming numbers, the FMCSA has suggested “rolling back” the current safety standards to help carriers have more flexibility on the road. These changes include removing direct supervision requirements for Commercial Learner’s Permit applicants, among others. All these proposed changes could negatively impact all vehicles on the highway.

Time for the Government to Take Action Now

As Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.) Board Co-Chair Russ Swift stated, “The carnage on our roadways is deeply disturbing. These crashes won’t go away on their own, we need our public officials to show courage and put the needs of the public above the interests of large trucking companies.”

Remember, every statistic represents a person: a loved one, a friend, or a family member. These deaths affect families for years to come. If the government enacted the proper safety measures, many of these deaths could have been prevented.

At the Trucking Injury Law Group, we always fight for the rights of those affected by these truck accidents on a nationwide level. We are here to help you take the next step in your case.