Despite federal oversight of commercial trucking and guidelines covering a range of topics from trucker fatigue to driver logs to impaired operation and more, Nebraska continues to struggle when it comes to keeping people safe from semi-truck collisions.
Records form the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a tragic up-and-down trend with truck accident fatalities and news reports continue to provide details of senseless accidents and deaths.
A concerning five-year trend in Nebraska
According to the NHTSA, 52 people were killed in Nebraska in truck accidents in 2014. Those people represented 23% of the state's total vehicular fatalities that year. Things looked better the following year when 40 truck accident deaths accounted for 16% of the state's total accident deaths.
In 2016, however, the story flipped and saw 27% of Nebraska's vehicular deaths come from tractor-trailer accidents. That year, 58 people lost their lives in such crashes. Another decline followed in 2017 when 41 people killed accounted for 18% of the total deaths. As previously, the positive results did not continue in 2018. That year, 51 deaths were recorded in truck crashes, representing 22% of all fatalities in vehicular crashes in Nebraska.
Recent stories highlight the ongoing risk
Nebraska residents need not search hard to find more stories of recent tragedies in truck accidents. The Omaha World-Herald reported on a deadly accident near Waterloo that happened after a semi-truck drove into oncoming traffic and struck a sport utility vehicle. The driver of the SUV survived and was taken to a hospital. Unfortunately, the 17-year-old passenger in the SUV died in the crash, as did the trucker.