Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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National Safety Council announces Road to Zero Coalition

In an effort to reduce the number of truck and other motor vehicle fatal accidents in California and around the country, the National Safety Council has announced its Road to Zero Coalition. The coalition's goal is to prevent fatal accidents by implementing multiple approaches to improve safety.

According to the National Safety Council, 100 people are killed in collisions in the U.S. each day. The coalition includes 675 partners. Rand Corporation has released a report that outlines the methods that can be used to reach zero deaths in traffic accidents by 2050. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 4,317 people were killed in accidents in 2016 that involved large trucks, which was a 5.4 percent increase over the previous year. Overall, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions during that year, which was a 5.6 percent increase in fatalities over 2015.

Among the trucks that were involved in fatal crashes in 2016, 80 percent had gross vehicle weights of 26,000 pounds. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is studying ways to improve the safety of large trucks by analyzing systems that provide better blind-spot detection, stability, lane-departure warnings and forward collision warnings.

Truck accidents are much likelier to result in fatalities because of the difference in their sizes and weights as compared to other motor vehicles. When people are killed in large truck collisions, their families may be able to hold the driver and the driver's employer liable when the accidents were caused by the driver's negligence. An experienced truck accident lawyer may carefully review the data about the accident to make an initial determination of fault. If the driver appears to have been at fault, the lawyer may file a civil complaint for wrongful death against the driver and the driver's employer. This may allow the family members to recover damages so that they can be compensated for their losses.

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