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Improving truck safety with speed limiter use, other safety tech

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that in collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles, 72% of the fatalities are occupants of the latter. It is imperative, then, that trucking companies in Michigan and across the U.S. do all they can to prevent crashes. Unfortunately, truck crashes continue to rise in many states.

Florida is one example: in 2014, it saw 23,515 truck crashes, but that number was 32,513 in 2018. The Florida Department of Transportation states that the number one driver-related factor in these crashes was speeding.

Many trucking companies are beginning to use the speed limiters on their fleet (the devices can be found on all trucks built since 1992, yet there is no federal law mandating their use, despite encouragement from various truck safety groups). One company in the Midwest called Maverick Transportation has set its speed limiters to 65 mph.

Maverick has also installed a wide range of vehicle safety devices, including forward-facing cameras and roll stability control. Some of the devices should be well-known to passenger vehicle drivers: for instance, lane departure warning and collision warning systems. As a result of these upgrades, Maverick says it only had to report one accident to the DoT back in 2018. Whether other trucking companies will follow suit is another matter.

Fleet owners will be the ones facing a claim if one of their truckers is implicated in a commercial vehicle accident. Negligence can come in various forms: speeding, inattentive driving or drowsy driving. Before filing a claim, though, victims of a negligent trucker may wish to consult with an attorney. First of all, they might be unable to gather evidence on their own, and they may have to face aggressive opposition at the negotiation table and in the courtroom. A lawyer might assist in all of these endeavors.

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