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The trucking safety group Road Safe America analyzed federal crash data from 2009-2017. They found that nearly all U.S. states had increases in semi-truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017. 

But Washington State has experienced the biggest percentage increase in truck crash fatalities.

The five states with the largest percentage increases in truck crash deaths

from 2009 to 2017 were, in order of greatest increase –

Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Nevada.

Road Safe America cites hike in big rig crash deaths, again calls for speed limiters

We’ve looked at the alarming increase in heavy truck crashes in Washington State before, and have handled several cases involving fatalities.

In the past few years, the truck crash fatality rate has been creeping back up. When roads and vehicles are safer than ever, why are so many people still dying in crashes?

Why was there 62% more semi crashes in Washington last year?


Are unusual weather patterns of rain snow contributing to collisions?

Have the VMT (vehicle miles traveled) in Washington State increase by a comparable percentage? 

Is economic growth leading to increased spending, manufacturing, shipping, – and contributing to semi-truck traffic?  

Are commercial drivers becoming more distracted?

We keep asking the questions.

Yet, we have no more answers now than we did several years ago. 

We may not know what’s causing the uptick, but the group that analyzed the federal crash data is pushing for changes to improve truck safety in general.

Road Safe America pushes Congress to act

The trucking safety group points out that speed limiters on heavy trucks are prevalent all over the world, and have been built into trucks since the 1990s.

Some motor carriers require the use of speed limiters in their fleets, but federal law does not. 

“Road Safe America encourages all trucking companies who have not already done so, to cap the maximum speed of their fleets by setting their speed limiters at 65mph and to install AEB on every truck,”

Steve Owings, co-founder of Road Safe America

Automatic emergency braking technology could prevent most rear-end collisions, which are among the most common causes of truck crash fatalities. Even when rear-end crashes can’t be prevented, reduced speed means that the injuries may be less severe. 

By the year 2022, every new car sold in the U.S. will have automatic emergency brakes. Yet, only approximately 15% of all heavy trucks have this technology. 

Speed limiters and AEB technology in all Class 8 trucks would undoubtedly prevent some crashes, and reduce the harm in others. Road Safe America points out that Congress could push the US DOT to act. 

Are our Washington State Senators and Representatives even concerned about the increasing rate of truck crash fatalities? 

Are they ready to act?

Contact your Congressional representatives and find out.