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Truck safety group wants Congress to require safety technology

Pennsylvania had the dubious distinction in 2017 of being one of the five states with the most large truck crash fatalities. Data analysis by safety organization Road Safe America also shows an overall increase in large truck fatalities across the country between 2009 and 2017. This has prompted the organization to ask Congress to make speed limiters and automatic braking mandatory for all big rig trucks.

The co-founder of Road Safe America says that the 42 percent rise in fatalities over the period studied happened without an increase in truck miles driven. Breaking down the statistics by states, only six states did not have an increase in truck accident fatalities. A total of 35,882 people died in truck crashes during the period.

In addition, Road Safe America wants commercial trucks to be set with speed limiters capped at 65 mph by law. Truck manufacturers have installed speed limiters in trucks since the 1990s, and many countries require that they be used. In the United States, however, the use of speed limiters is voluntary. Using data from a study done in Ontario, Road Safe America determined that requiring the use of speed limiters set at 65 mph could prevent about 100 deaths per month.

One truck safety expert says that the increase in fatalities between 2009 and 2017 could be due to increased smartphone use. In addition to Road Safe America, other trucking companies and organizations have asked Congress to impose mandatory use of speed limiters.

Big rig truck accidents can cause serious injuries and major property damage. Someone who is injured in such an accident could file a personal injury claim against a truck driver or trucking company. Legal counsel could help the victim negotiate for a fair settlement.

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