Safety Officials Express Concern Over Rise in Truck Occupant FatalitiesMarch 6, 2019
Due to the massive size of large commercial trucks, they can cause serious property damage and devastating injuries when they are involved in a traffic accident.
In most cases, it is the occupants of the passenger vehicles that suffer the most severe, often fatal injuries. However, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of fatalities involving occupants of large trucks has gone up in recent years. In addition, there has been a rise in fatal crashes in work zones that involve large truck accidents.
At the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting held last month, the chief safety officer for the FMCSA expressed his concerns over the recent rise in trucker fatalities. According to accident reports, these fatalities have been steadily rising, from 665 in 2015 to 725 in 2016 to 841 in 2017. Approximately 38 percent of those victims involved in the fatal crashes were not wearing their seat belts.
The chief safety officer also shared some disturbing statistics about fatal work zone crashes, which have increased from 26.8 percent in 2015 to 27.2 percent in 2016 to 30.4 percent in 2017.
Top Causes of Fatalities Involving Large Trucks
The overall number of fatalities involving large trucks or buses also increased from 4,629 in 2016 to 5,005 in 2017.
The following are examples of the most common causes of fatal truck accidents:
- Distracted driving, including talking or texting while driving
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Drowsy driving
- Careless driving
Proactive steps need to be taken in order to make safety a priority in 2019, said the FMCSA Administrator. This should include collecting more accurate crash data, providing effective tools that will help drivers monitor their fatigue, ongoing research on platooning, and supporting the latest research into automated driving technologies.
According to the FMCSA Administrator, by streamlining the data collection and analysis, more effective safety improvements can be made that will have direct impact on motorists across the country.
The agency also plans to improve the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Safety Measurement System, incorporating the Item Response Theory model that was recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. According to the director of FMCSA’s office of enforcement and compliance, this model will use data rather than expert judgement.
The director also discussed the fact the more truck drivers are complying with the hours-of-service rules, which has resulted in significantly fewer drivers being cited for driving without a mandatory electronic logging device (ELD).
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If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of the crash and determine who was at fault for causing the accident. Our dedicated team will aggressively pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensure that your legal rights are protected at all times. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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