According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers not wearing their seat belts are a common cause of commercial vehicle fatalities. Roughly half of those deaths have occurred because drivers weren’t wearing seat belts while driving on roads in North Carolina and other states. In 2017, there were 5,005 deaths in crashes involving trucks and buses. That was an increase from 3,193 in 2009.
Research indicates that 86 percent of commercial truck and bus drivers wore their seat belts when required to in 2017. This compares to a 90 percent compliance rate among passenger vehicle drivers. It’s important to note that not wearing a seat belt won’t necessarily cause an accident to occur. Therefore, it’s a good idea to understand what factors do lead to crashes. According to FMCSA data, speeding was the most common factor in crashes involving large trucks.
Distracted, careless and impaired driving were also common factors as to why commercial drivers were involved in accidents. While the accident rate for trucks over 33,000 pounds is declining, the rate has been increasing for passenger trucks being used for commercial purposes. Automation and greater enforcement of existing rules are seen as ways to reduce accident rates and keep everyone safe on the road.
A motorist who was hurt in an accident involving a large truck could experience significant injuries. These injuries may require a person to spend time in a hospital or miss work to recover. If negligence caused the crash to occur, an injured victim could obtain compensation for damages incurred in the accident. This may include reimbursement for lost wages, lost future earnings and punitive damages. An attorney could help gather evidence of negligence on a victim’s behalf.