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Fatal semi-truck accidents still rising

In 2017, more than 4,000 people died in fatal large truck accidents on America's roadways. Truck occupants made up 17 percent of these fatalities, and car drivers and passengers made up 68 percent; pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists made up the rest. Unfortunately, these rates of fatalities are 28 percent higher than they were in 2009. Despite this problem in Michigan and other states, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to implement changes that might improve safety on the road.

Highway safety advocates as well as representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board have urged the NHTSA to do something about the increase in fatal semi-truck accidents. Specifically, the have requested that some type of mitigation features be required in large trucks to prevent rear-end accidents. These types of incidents account for an alarming amount of fatalities.

With new vehicle safety technology available, advocates believe that reducing rear-end collisions is entirely possible. New models of trucks, cars and SUVs use collision warning systems and brake mitigation already, and putting these features into semi-trucks should be a fairly simple process. Trucking has increased significantly in the past decade, but safety improvements have not kept up with the pace.

Families of wrongful death victims may be able to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering from the parties responsible. At an initial consultation with an attorney, the attorney may evaluate the circumstances of an accident and determine if it's appropriate to seek legal action. A driver, or the company that employs the driver or owns the truck, may be the party responsible for wrongful death. When it's not possible to get compensation through insurance or a settlement, filing a lawsuit may be necessary.

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