FMCSA Shows Increase in Truck-related Fatalities

Sep. 20, 2019

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has delivered some sobering news about large-truck-related fatalities, noting that over the last three years the number of people in large trucks who died in fatal truck accidents has increased each year. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a list of its own that also showed the number of people killed in large-truck crashes increased from 2016 through 2017. Accidents with large trucks tend to be particularly devastating because of the risk of underride crashes and because of the massive size and weight of tractor-trailers.

At Cutter Law, we fight for our clients who have been injured in large truck and tractor-trailer crashes so they can obtain the maximum compensation they’re entitled to. We know how devastating such crashes are and the catastrophic impact they have on their victims’ lives and finances. We’re here to guide our clients through these difficult times and ensure they receive the best, most qualified representation.

Large-Truck-Occupant Fatalities Increased Over Three Years

According to the FMCSA, the number of people killed in accidents that occurred while they were riding in large trucks increased every year from 2015 through 2017. In the same timeframe, the percentage of fatal work zone crashes involving a minimum of one large truck also increased, and the percentage of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involving at least one large truck also rose.

The FMCSA notes that approximately 38 percent of people who died in an accident while in a large truck were not wearing their seatbelt, a factor that frequently results in the victim being ejected from the vehicle. Vehicle ejections are often fatal occurrences.

As a result of its findings, the FMCSA recommended truck drivers wear their seat belt, ensure they signal their driving intentions early—such as signaling to change lanes—and avoid driving distracted.

NHTSA Releases its Own Fatality Data

In Oct. 2018, the NHTSA released its fatal large truck crash data, based on information compiled through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The administration found that the total number of people killed in accidents involving large trucks increased from 2016 to 2017 by almost 400 people. As with the FMCSA, the NHTSA found that large-truck-occupant fatalities increased from 2016 to 2017, in both single vehicle and multiple vehicle crashes. The number of fatalities in other vehicles involved in large-truck crashes also increased. The only measure that dropped was the number of fatalities of people who did not occupy a vehicle during a crash, such as pedestrians who were hit by a tractor-trailer.

IIHS Also Notes Fatality Increase

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately one in ten highway deaths is linked to an accident involving large trucks. At least one factor in the number of large truck crashes is the stopping distance of a loaded tractor-trailer, which can be as much as 40 percent farther than a passenger car.

Of the large truck crashes registered in 2017, 74 percent involved a tractor-trailer and 25 percent involved a single-unit large truck. Some of the crashes involved both types of a truck or an unknown type. Meanwhile, 52 percent of deaths in large-truck crashes occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, 32 percent took place on interstates or freeways, and 15 percent happened on minor roads. Forty-eight percent of large-truck-occupant deaths happened in rollover crashes.

Truck Crash Attorneys

Because of the massive size and weight of tractor-trailers, crashes with passenger vehicles can be particularly devastati and have a high risk of fatalities. At Cutter Law, we’ve seen some of the devastation caused by large-truck crashes and have helped clients through the stressful times following a tractor-trailer accident.

If you or a loved one was harmed in an accident with a big rig, you need the expert representation provided by attorneys who are uniquely familiar with investigating and handling truck accident claims. Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our personal injury clients, and put the same unwavering commitment, dedication, and perseverance to every client.

Contact our Sacramento or Oakland attorneys today for a no-obligation consultation.

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