How safe are Colorado’s roads? With increased trucking regulation, fatal accidents still on rise | VailDaily.com

How safe are Colorado’s roads? With increased trucking regulation, fatal accidents still on rise

Truck crashes are killing more people, despite better inspections and more oversight.

JON MURRAY | jmurray@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 photo, emergency crews work at the scene of a deadly collision on Interstate 70 near the Colorado Mills Parkway in Lakewood, Colo.
Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via AP

Since federal regulators and the trucking industry got serious about safety nearly four decades ago, thousands of lives have been saved on U.S. roads.

But last month’s horrific high-speed crash west of Denver, in which an apparently out-of-control semitrailer plowed into more than two dozen stopped vehicles on Interstate 70 — igniting an inferno and killing four people — is part of a worrying trend.

Over the last decade, fatal crashes involving large trucks have been on the rise again.

The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks in the United States increased by 42 percent between 2009 and 2017, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, a trend reversal that came as trucking traffic levels recovered from the Great Recession. Nearly 4,800 people were killed in 4,237 wrecks in 2017 — most of them in neighboring vehicles.

In Colorado, the number of fatal crashes was down slightly in 2017 but has more than doubled, from 35 in 2009 to 80 in 2017, the most recent year available. Those wrecks killed 87 people.

Read more via The Denver Post.