There is an amount of danger every time you get behind the wheel of a car, but usually the amount is relatively negligible. Most people arrive safely when they drive places. However, your overall risk as a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle may be higher now than it was last year, especially when it comes to those who frequently drive near commercial vehicles.
An analysis performed by federal officials indicates that fatal truck crashes continue to occur at higher rates in the United States than they did the year before. In other words, you probably have more risk of dying in a commercial truck crash this year than you did last year.
That makes it of the utmost importance that you respect the limitations of commercial trucks when driving on the road and do your best to avoid situations that could endanger you or your passengers. Your smaller vehicle will likely suffer far more damage than a larger vehicle in a crash.
Commercial truck fatalities increased by almost 10% in 2017
To help keep the roads as safe as possible, the federal government tracks accidents, fatalities and injuries. They identify causes and common factors. This tracking helps researchers understand trends in the ever-changing flow of traffic across the country. One of the most disturbing trends is that the number of fatal commercial truck crashes seems to be on the rise, despite increasing efforts at policing the commercial driving industry.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2017 saw 4,889 fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses. That is an increase of 9% since 2016. The 2018 analysis has not yet been made public, but the chances are good that it will reflect another increase in crashes.
This is a disconcerting trend, as it represents an overall increase in fatalities since the beginning of the 21st century. However, it is still below the worst year of the century, which was 2005. It is also markedly higher than the lowest fatality year, which was 2009. Federal officials have required that truckers install electronic logging devices and enacted other rules, such as the no texting rule, intended to keep people safe when driving close to commercial trucks.
Commercial trucks can cause catastrophic injuries in crashes
Commercial trucks are multiple times larger and heavier than personal motor vehicles. They can cause truly destructive damage to smaller vehicles in the event of a collision.
Many times, the trucks themselves are responsible for the crashes that occur, as they are harder to maneuver than passenger vehicles. If you got hurt in a crash caused by a commercial truck, sitting down to talk with an experienced Belleville personal injury attorney could help you explore what options for compensation you may have.