All car accidents in Mississippi have the potential to be deadly. When trucks are involved, the risk of death and severe injury is significantly higher. The sheer size of a truck is enough reason for concern. The fact that many of these accidents involve sleepy drivers, so no brakes are applied is even more concerning. In these situations, insurance payouts are often all families can rely on to help to pay for the medical costs of treating survivors.
Unfortunately, with truck drivers only required to carry $750,000 of liability coverage, families are left wanting. After fees are paid, some families do not receive even half of this figure. This forces them to dip into their own pockets to pay for medical expenses. It also burdens the Social Security fund, when the insurance money runs out, as survivors are often unable to work. Some may never have anything close to the lives they once lived.
According to NBC News, things are not getting better any time soon. In 2017, truck drivers recently won the fight to maintain that $750,000 minimum. Thankfully, private organizations have stepped up to the plate by requiring drivers to maintain higher liability insurance. As a result of this, $1 million in liability insurance is maintained by 8 out of 10 truck drivers. While even this falls below the $9.6 million estimated value of a human life, or the $4 million coverage recommended in 2013, it is better than no improvement at all.
Over the past few years, experts have tried to reduce truck driver accidents by working with the drivers themselves. However, long hours of driving stretches of empty road can lead to sleepiness from sheer boredom. Because of this, more truck manufacturing companies should consider installing collision avoidance systems.
According to CNBC, equipping vehicles with this technology reduced head-on collisions, sideswipe and single-vehicle accidents by 11%. Similarly, injuries from these accidents dropped by 21%. While this certainly does not resolve the issues of low payouts to grieving families, it does help to reduce the likelihood of more Mississippi families ending up in this situation.