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Truck crashes rise, mostly putting other drivers at risk

There were 34,439 deadly car crashes in Wyoming and the rest of the U.S. in 2017, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of those, 4,079 involved at least one large truck or bus. Truck crashes have been on the rise with Florida seeing a jump from 23,515 crashes in 2014 to 32,513 in 2018, and the number one driver-related factor in these crashes, according to the Florida DoT, is speeding.

As a result, many trucking companies are turning to vehicle safety tech to keep truckers and other drivers safe. Maverick Transportation, a mid-sized company in the Midwest, has been installing everything from collision warning systems and lane departure warning to roll stability control and in-cab cameras on its fleet of 1,800 trucks. In 2018, Maverick only saw one reportable accident among its fleet.

The Maverick CEO also stresses the importance of using speed limiters. These devices can be found on all U.S. trucks built since 1992, but there is currently no federal rule requiring their use; the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration did issue a proposal for such a rule, but it was shot down back in 2017. Maverick has set its speed limiters to 65 mph regardless of what the posted speed limits may say in other regions.

In the event that a passenger vehicle driver is involved in a trucking accident, he or she may be able to recover damages by filing a claim against the trucking company. It depends on who was at fault, to what degree and whether there is proof to back it up. Filing a claim also means dealing with the trucking company, which will likely have a legal team working hard to deny payment, so victims may want a lawyer of their own.

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