Traffic safety groups have become increasingly vocal as truck accident fatalities climb in New Jersey and nationwide. According to federal government statistics, 4,102 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks in 2017. Fatality figures in this category have increased by 28 percent since 2009. A representative from the Truck Safety Coalition described the death toll as the equivalent of two 737 airplanes crashing every month and killing all passengers and crew.
The co-founder of Road Safe America has stated publicly that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should be held accountable for dragging its feet. The federal agency that regulates traffic issues has failed to require trucking companies to use forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems. Such technology detects obstacles in front of a truck and initiates emergency brakes if the driver does not respond. A system like this could prevent many deadly accidents, like the four deaths that resulted from a truck driver who was using a tablet computer behind the wheel instead of watching the road.
The NHTSA currently stands accused by its critics of ignoring recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board. The board has repeatedly told the agency to make trucking companies use collision avoidance systems that are already becoming mainstream on new passenger cars.
As the public awaits safety regulations that could reduce fatalities, a family who has lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident might have the option of suing a trucking company for losses. An attorney could organize the evidence about the causes of a deadly crash and manage the litigation to pursue damages from the trucking company’s insurer.