The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that over the past few decades cars have gotten safer and fatalities have gone down. This trend can be linked to advances in safety features, such as airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes, among other technical advances.
While this same technology is also available for trucks and trailers, the trucking industry hasn’t implemented such safety equipment. In United States, only about 3% of the Class 8 trucks—the heaviest ones which includes most tractor-trailers—are equipped with any collision-avoidance technology. In Europe, most such heavy trucks are sold with this technology.
These large trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal accidents. According to the New York Times, these heavy trucks are involved in 1 out of 8 of all fatal accidents and 25% of all fatalities in construction-zone accidents.
The trucking industry claims the cost of these safety technologies hurt their bottom line. The trucking industry, through its chief trade group, the American Trucking Association, continues to lobby Congress against safety laws, claiming expenditures on safety technology will raise rates for shippers and consumers.
But what the trucking industry has failed to notice is that stronger safety measures prevent higher insurance rates and also prevent millions of dollars from being spent in resolving injury claims. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimates $99 billion to be the annual cost to the economy for truck and large vehicle crashes.
Many of these expenditures can be avoided if Congress were to pass a common-sense safety bill that addresses the concerns of car drivers, truck drivers, and creates a trucking industry that is safer and more profitable in the long run.
At the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., we are safety advocates. Those who injure others through their careless actions must be held accountable for their wrongdoing. That is why our team of truck accident lawyers in Chicago has your back. With over 50 years of combined experience, we know the strategies the defense will use to discredit your injuries. But we bring commitment and expertise to each case and help you get results. Set up a free initial consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys in Chicago. Call 1 (312) 384-1920 or 1 (800) 693-1LAW, or reach us by email.