In South Carolina and throughout the United States, trucks are a constant. Drivers who share the road with them may be intimidated and concerned about the chance of a truck crash. With the size of these vehicles and the damage they can inflict, this is no surprise. Although there have been technological advancements and increased oversight from regulatory agencies, there remains a major risk of truck accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is tasked with addressing safety concerns and providing recommendations. Recently, it listed its view of the most pressing dangers. People who are in a collision with a truck should consider these known accident causes as they could be important in determining a future course of action.
The NTSB’s “most wanted list” of safety improvements
The NTSB made recommendations for safety enhancement with its “most wanted list.” Shortened to the initials MWL, this has been used for 30 years to give guidance to legislators and policymakers to make the roads safer. There are five overriding points that the NTSB focused on. They are speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and more vehicles being equipped with technology to warn and avoid crashes.
Speeding is often the proximate cause of a truck accident. In the decade from 2009 to 2018, there were nearly 100,000 people killed due to speeding. That is almost 33% of all fatal crashes. In 2018, there were close to 9,400 fatalities because of it. It is difficult to gauge how many accidents were due to speeding because reporting is generally flawed and based on statements. A speed-related collision tends to cause greater damage. The NTSB would like large trucks to have limits installed to prevent going beyond certain speeds. Other tactics to consider are automated enforcement and greater public intervention.
Drivers who get behind the wheel while impaired is also a common problem. In 2019 alone, there were more than 10,000 fatalities for drivers who were legally drunk. That was 28% of all road deaths that year. This involved alcohol and drugs. It complicates matters that many states have legalized marijuana. Testing for drugs is more difficult than testing for alcohol, so the scope of impaired driving due to drugs is largely questionable. Improving the vetting of drivers and testing is recommended.
Any auto accident discussion will mention distracted driving. There were around 400,000 injuries and 3,142 deaths because of it in 2019. Generally, this is perceived to be due to cellphones, but distraction comes in many ways. Even those who use a hands-free device are, to a degree, distracted. The ability to multitask does not mean drivers should. In addition, because truckers spend so much time on the road, it is a natural reaction to grow complacent about safety. The NTSB recommends employer crackdowns about distracted driving.
People involved in a truck crash should be aware of these issues
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and death. People who have been hurt or lost a loved one might not know the available steps to seek compensation for what they have lost. This includes medical expenses, lost companionship, lost income and the expenses related to long-term care. In addition to the driver, it is also possible to pursue the company itself, vehicle manufacturers, maintenance companies and others. Understanding driver behaviors that often spark accidents can be imperative to remaining safe. It is critical after a crash when considering how to move forward. Having professional guidance can investigate the accident and determine a viable path.