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Truck Crashes Cause Many More Injuries But Fewer Deaths

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Many California motorists have passed by the scene of truck accidents on highways as well as city streets. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues a report every year containing statistics regarding such accidents, and the result of the one released earlier in 2016 contains an interesting anomaly.

Between 2013 and 2014, the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents around the country decreased by 5 percent. However, in that same time period the number of injuries increased by more than 20 percent. The possible reasons for this discrepancy vary.

One industry observer believes that changes to federal hours of service regulations which were first in force for an entire year in 2014 have had the effect of having more trucks on the road during morning rush hours than in the middle of the night. When there is more congestion, the possibility of an accident increases. However, since the traffic is moving more slowly, the chances of an accident being fatal could be lessened. An FMCSA spokesman prefers to attribute the difference to forward collision prevention technology that may make more rear-end collisions less deadly due to automatic braking.

Regardless of their cause, 18-wheeler accidents can cause serious and catastrophic injuries to others who are on the road, due in part to the overwhelming weight and size of those vehicles compared to passenger cars. While some of these accidents are the fault of others, many are caused by a drunk or speeding truck driver or by truck driver fatigue. When that can be determined, an injured victim could seek compensation from the driver and in some cases the trucking company through a personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of counsel.

Source: Overdrive Online, "Fatalities down, injuries way up. What gives?", Max Heine, May 2, 2016