Large trucks are involved in more than 10,000 total Arizona crashes annually, accounting for nearly 90 deaths and thousands of injuries (most caused by semi-trucks and other truck combinations). That's according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
One of the ways the auto industry at large has combated this issue is by investing in anti-crash technology, such as forward collision warning, lane assist and other features. But the trucking industry is lagging. That's a big problem for Arizona drivers.
Why Lack of Auto Safety Features on Big Trucks Matters
Consumer Reports recently detailed the effect this is having on roadways across the United States. We already know from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data that an estimated 4,300 were killed in truck accidents nationally in 2016, which was a 5.4 percent jump from just a year earlier.
Large trucks already tend to cause a great deal of damage whenever they are involved in a collision with a passenger car, just due to the sheer size differential. Now consider that the majority of these huge trucks are more than 10 years old.
In-system warnings (automatic emergency braking, forward collision warnings, lane assist, etc.) are largely absent from big rigs. Only roughly 15 percent of large commercial trucks have these types of crash mitigation systems (according to a report by Securing America's Future Energy). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that trucking carriers could prevent approximately 107,000 truck accidents every single year (or nearly one-third of the total) by investing in these systems.
Two of the most potentially advantageous systems would be blind spot warning and stability control. That's because trucks tend to have huge blind spots and are also more prone to tipping when they do crash, thanks to their higher centers of gravity. Given that these vehicles weigh approximately 80,000 pounds each, that's a lot of damage that could be prevented.
No-Fault in Arizona Doesn't Mean You Can't Sue
Arizona is a no-fault state, meaning no matter who is to blame, you first file a claim with your own insurer for damages. However, if you sustain serious injuries, you can collect damages from those at fault. Even if you are partially to blame, the state still allows recovery of damages, though your overall damage award will be proportionately reduced based on your comparative negligence.
In the event that you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact Israel & Gerity, PLLC and find out how we can help you.