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Big rig crash fatalities continue to rise across U.S.

Florida readers may be concerned to learn that fatal large truck crashes have increased in every state except six over the last eight years, according to a new report by Road Safe America. As a result, the organization is pushing the federal government to pass laws requiring the use of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems in commercial trucks.

Road Safe America researchers analyzed federal crash data from 2009 until 2017 and found that 35,882 people were killed in big rig accidents during that time. The number of deaths went up even though the total number of miles driven by large commercial trucks went down over the same period. In 2017, the states with the highest number of big rig-related deaths were Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Between 2009 and 2017, the states with the highest percentage increase in fatal big rig crashes were Washington, Idado, Colorado, Texas and Nevada.

According to Road Safe America, a significant number of big rig fatalities could be prevented with the installation of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems on commercial trucks. To back up that opinion, the organization noted that most of the states with high commercial truck death totals have speed limits of 70 mph or above. It also noted that many other countries use speed limiters to keep large trucks from traveling too fast on roadways.

Truck accidents can be caused by multiple factors, including speeding, truck driver fatigue and distracted driving. When someone is injured in a truck crash caused by a negligent driver, he or she has the right to pursue compensation for damages in court. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, it may be possible to recover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other crash-related losses. An attorney familiar with truck accident claims could evaluate a victim's case and explain all legal remedies available.

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