Truckers and fleet owners in North Carolina should take note of the 2017 crash data that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Though vehicle crash fatalities went down in all areas, large truck traffic fatalities did not. The following are just a few of the numbers that NHTSA released.
The total number of people killed in traffic crashes went down by 1.8 percent from 37,806 in 2016 to 37,133 in 2017. Passenger vehicle fatalities were reduced by 1.4 percent, while motorcyclist, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths respectively decreased by 3.1, 1.7 and 8.1 percent. There were 5.6 percent less speeding-related deaths, and deaths caused by distracted driving also went down, though they composed a substantial 8.5 percent of all fatalities.
On the other hand, there was a 9 percent increase from 4,369 to 4,761 traffic fatalities involving large trucks. By “large trucks,” NHTSA means trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. 2017 also saw 280 more deaths in multi-vehicle crashes involving large trucks. The number of large truck occupants who died in crashes rose from 725 to 841.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has stated that many of the fatal large truck crashes involved trucks that weighed less than 26,000 pounds and, therefore, may not have been regulated by the FMCSA.
Drivers of passenger vehicles who are involved in a commercial truck accident will want to know if the other party was at fault. Truckers can, after all, engage in negligent behavior like drowsy driving or fail to keep their truck up to safety standards. Victims who want to file a claim against the trucking company for their medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage and other losses may want to retain a lawyer. The lawyer might be able to handle all negotiations and litigate as a last resort.