For the fourth year in a row, the number of people killed in semi truck wrecks has increased. While U.S. highway safety has generally increased, deaths from tractor trailer wrecks are staggering. In 2014 the number of deaths rose to 3,964. This number includes pedestrians, passengers in vehicles colliding with big rigs, and truck drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributes part of the large number of semi truck wrecks to tired truck drivers. Congress introduced a Bill in December 2014 that would delay the enactment of stricter safety rules for truck drivers by suspending current rules until additional studies were conducted. This change in rules would allow truckers to work as many as 82 hours per week. Under current safety regulations semi truck drivers can only work as many as 14 hours per day, topping out at 11 hours of driving. In addition, rest periods and sleep periods are required.
In additon to restrictions on truck drivers, new federal standards requiring stability control technology on trucks may help to reduce the number of wrecks. The technology is designed to prevent rollovers. Ultimately, the NHTSA says the state of highway safety is improving.
Kentucky has also worked to reduce the number of deaths attributed to semi truck wrecks in recent years. The Kentucky Strategic Highway Safety Plan is an Executive Committee formed by the Governor to address these and other public safety concerns on Kentucky's highways. In 2005 the number of fatalities from big rig collisions was 123, that number was reduced to 77 by 2011.
The Poppe Law Firm represents people injured or killed in semi truck wrecks. We seek to make the roads safer for us all, to have federal regulations on drivers enforced, and to obtain justice for our clients. We invite you to check out our free informational video and e-book on semi truck wrecks.