Periodically, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts studies involving accidents that occur on U.S. highways. The NTSB is a federal agency that was created to promote safety standards for trucks and other vehicles transporting goods across state lines. The NTSB tracks accidents, injuries, and their causes in an attempt to develop new safety standards to decrease the frequency of accidents in the future.
The most recent study conducted by the NTSB indicates that there are over eight million single-unit trucks registered in the U.S. that travel over 110 billion miles each year. Even though these vehicles only amount to about 3% of registered motor vehicles, they account for about 9% of all fatal accidents. These startling numbers show the true hazard to all drivers and passengers these trucks pose. Ultimately, the study revealed that there are many areas in which safety improvements are needed, such as ones to prevent underride accidents.
One important conclusion of the most recent study was that many fatalities are caused due to underride accidents. Interestingly, this is due in large part to the fact that many single-unit trucks are excluded from many safety rules that apply to tractor-trailers. As a result, these vehicles do not meet the safety standards for improved underride guards, which can prevent a significant number of deaths and injuries.
Underride Accidents Result in 21 Deaths in Two Months
According to a recent news report, the startling rate of trucking accidents, specifically fatalities following underride accidents, has resulted in lobbyists fighting for stricter trucking laws in Washington, D.C. Underride accidents occur when a vehicle ends up underneath a truck, which often results in the decapitation of the driver. Many family members whose loved ones have been injured or killed in the past few months have been pushing for these new laws. Most recently, a Maryland resident’s pickup truck slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer; luckily, the individual survived after having to be cut out of his vehicle with the Jaws of Life.
Although there have been some improvements in regard to underride guards, much more improvement is needed. Crash tests indicate that stronger guards or even side guards could result in a dramatic decrease in fatalities. Trucking companies have been arguing against these safety guards because it may result in their having to lessen their cargo to meet weight requirements. Lobbyists and politicians are hoping that new legislation will be introduced by the end of the year.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Mexico trucking accident, you should contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm. As you can see, these accidents can be devastating, and very rarely do victims walk away unscathed. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can help you navigate these emotional and complex cases. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to cover past medical bills, future medical expenses, and lost wages, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident. Contact one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation at 800-640-6590.
More Blog Posts:
Commercial Driver’s License Requirements and Mandatory Safety Regulations for New Mexico Truck Drivers, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 29, 2017.
Appellate Court Strikes Plaintiff’s Expert Reports, Granting Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendants, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 6, 2017.