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As truck crash numbers rise, companies look to safety tech

Truck crashes are on the rise in Oklahoma and across the U.S. The ones who are being most impacted by the trend are not truckers, however, but occupants of passenger vehicles. They make up 72% of deaths in truck crashes, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In the effort to reduce truck crashes, some trucking companies are turning more to vehicle safety devices.

Maverick Transportation, which is based in the Midwest and controls a fleet of some 1,800 trucks, has installed safety tech like collision avoidance systems, roll stability control, forward-facing cameras and lane departure warning systems. As a result, the company only experienced one reportable accident to the Department of Transportation in 2018 (in other words, one accident that resulted in an injury and/or the truck being towed away).

The Maverick CEO stresses the importance of speed limiters, saying that these have been set to 65 mph regardless of what speed limits in some regions allow. These devices are on all trucks built since 1992. Despite encouragement from truck safety advocacy groups, no federal guideline mandating their use exists.

Truckers may want to consider safety devices to help prevent truck accidents. However, these devices cannot prevent truckers from acting negligently and recklessly. If a trucker is to blame for a crash, the victim may be able to strive for compensation. Before they file their claim with the trucking company, however, they may want a lawyer to evaluate the case. Many accident attorneys have a network of professionals who can be brought in to gather evidence and do whatever else is needed to strengthen a case.