Large truck driver fatalities have hit record highs over the past years.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large truck crashes rose 9 percent to 4,761 deaths, up 392 deaths from 2016, with almost half reported not to be wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Large trucks, defined as vehicles weighing between 10,000 to 14,000 pounds, have been hit by the increase in miles logged by freight trucks and distracted driving despite the slew of new technological features to hit the market.
“With freight on the nation’s roadways at an all-time high, the potential of crashes and injuries does increase,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety administrator Ray Martinez, as quoted on Trucks.com.
He also raised skepticism over the effect of driver assistance technology in curbing the number of accidents.
“We believe those new technologies add to the safety environment,” said Martinez. “But whether it’s enough to turn the tide is too soon to know.”