A recent report from the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed a peculiar change in truck crash outcomes. Fatal accidents are down about 6%, which is good news. However, injuries from truck crashes are up significantly – by 21% compared to 2015.
While this data may seem contradicting, there are some contributing factors that could help to explain these trends:
- Technology is making truck accidents more survivable than in the past. Sensors and intelligent braking systems are preventing accidents that would have been unavoidable previously.
- Truck drivers are on the road fewer hours at a time, with the onset of new regulations limiting hours of consecutive drive time and instating the sleeper berth provision.
- Injuries may also be on the rise because the economy is on the mend, putting more trucks on the road. The more vehicles on the road – especially large vehicles – the greater the likelihood of an accident.
- Increased traffic also leads to more congestion – which could help to explain the reduction in truck accident fatalities. A collision with a large track traveling at 30 miles per hour is far less likely to be fatal than if the truck is traveling at twice that speed.
Crash statistics are complex, and there are many factors that can contribute to these findings – including weather, highway funding, changes in record-keeping and others. Fortunately, if you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident, it’s not up to you to figure out whether the driver, the trucking company or the city that maintains the highway was at fault. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to identify the responsible parties and hold them accountable for you.