ATLANTA — Road Safe America Tuesday federal crash data it had analyzed showed that all but six U.S. states had increases in big-rig truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017, the most recent year of available data.
From 2009 through 2017, a total of 35,882 people died in large truck crashes, the organization said in a news release.
“The sad fact is that many of these deaths could have been avoided if use of existing speed limiting and automatic emergency braking technologies had been the law,” said Steve Owings, co-founder of the highway-safety non-profit Road Safe America.
Statistics show that from 2009 to 2016, miles driven by heavy commercial trucks slightly decreased while the crashes involving them continually increased.
The data shows the top five states with the greatest number of truck crash fatalities in 2017 were in order: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
The five states with the largest percentage increases in truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017 were, in order of greatest increase – Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Nevada.
“Most of the states in this top five list have truck speed limits of 70 mph or more,” Owings said. “There is no good reason for big rigs that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or more in some states, to be operating at speeds this high since they cannot stop in the same distance in an emergency as vehicles with which they share the roads.
“Yet, unlike many other leading nations, our country does not require the use of automatic emergency braking or even speed limiters, which would help to save lives of people in passenger vehicles and professional truck drivers, too. In fact, required use of speed limiters is so prevalent around the world that they have been built into America’s big-rig trucks since the 1990s. So, all that is needed is a requirement to turn them on and set them at a reasonable top speed such as 65 mph. A recent national survey found 80 percent of voters across all demographics join us in calling for these requirements.”
In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposed equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.
However, the NPRM never gained any traction.
Most industry stakeholders said the initiative fell victim to President Donald Trump’s order to reduce federal regulatory efforts.
Owings said speed governors improve truck safety by limiting the top speed a truck can travel, thus allowing a truck driver to have more time to avoid a crash or reduce the severity of crashes that do still occur.
Most big-rigs already use them for this same reason and because doing so saves fuel, improving profitability, he said.
Automatic emergency braking also enhances safety on our roads by alerting truck drivers of slow-moving and non-moving objects and then applying the brakes if the drivers fail to for whatever reason, Owings said.
“Road Safe America encourages all trucking companies who have not already done so, to cap the maximum speed of their fleets by setting their speed limiters at 65mph and to install AEB on every truck,” Owings said. “We also encourage the public to learn more about these life-saving technologies by visiting our website: www.roadsafeamerica.org.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
UM Let me explain something to you. A car doing 80, coming up over a hill, to a semi doing 65 Will cause MORE accidents. Do any of you even DRIVE a truck???
The automatic braking system does more harm then good. I nearly jackknifed because of that system.
The accidents are caused by these commercial truck co. not by the drivers or speed of truck’s. These companies hide behind the ELD, FORCED dispatch, abusive treatment of drivers. These companies have a very high rate of driver turn over. The dispatched pick up and del. times are always off/short, such as having about one hour left to drive and dispatched for a pick up 90 miles away in heavy traffic, and the driver is fired if he or she doesn’t make it. The truck companies looking for drivers on The Trucker are part of the commercial companies that are the bad guys here. Remember we honor our drivers and get our drivers home, NOT, when they allow you home time after being hired.
Just keep on assuming every accident is the truck drivers fault…everyone else does
ok then limit all autos cars trucks everything problem solved cars run a lot faster than trucks and cause most of the accidents from doing dumb things sorry but i have been out there and seen it all.
Make the cars who always pull over to the side of the highway to take their dog to go pee or do that themselves with their flashers on, go to an on ramp instead… Common sense.. We have to move to the other lane when these idiots pull over on the side of the highway for stupid reasons.. Cars are almost ALWAYS the cause of semi crashes… No one wants to take someone’s life so we do what we have to to avoid that so we don’t have to live our life out knowing we killed someone… The authorities do NOTHING to keep cars from cutting us off or tailgate us or brake check us.. The dash cam is the most valuable thing we can use… But yet, we are always at fault…
i’ve noticed that people who want these limiters are people who’ve never drove a truck. How many people at ata have drove a truck and yet they know what’s best for drivers. They say people want speed limiters on big trucks, that’s because their only getting one side of the whole story.
If you notice this BS is the work of the ATA which is nothing but a scumbag organization for the big carriers that are already forced to govern there trucks to 65mph or less because they put inexperienced morons in there trucks that have no business driving a truck by themselves and there insurance carriers will not insure them unless there trucks are governed!!!! So basically the ATA does not like the fact that a owner operator or small trucking company can legally run the speed limit and the ATA wants everybody to be punished for there stupidity!!!