From 2016 to 2017, the number of car crash deaths in North Carolina and across the US went down 2% with 2017 seeing a total of 37,133 deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made preliminary estimates that show how the decline is continuing through 2019. On the other hand, truck crash fatalities have gone up dramatically.
In 2016, there were 4,369 such fatalities. 2017 saw a 9% rise to 4,761 deaths, the highest the number has ever been in 29 years. Of those fatalities, the majority (72%) were occupants of passenger vehicles. The remaining 28%, which came to about 1,300 fatalities, were the truckers themselves.
Among fatally injured truckers, 40% were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Truckers are also frequently to blame for crashes when they drive distracted. This accounts for how fatalities are rising even as vehicle safety technology like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning systems are being installed in more and more trucks. Another factor is that the amount of freight being hauled across the country has reached an all-time high. Therefore, there are more trucks on the road.
Fatal big-rig crashes did not experience a significant increase. The most noticeable was among trucks weighing between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds, especially dual rear-wheel pickups.
When distracted driving or some other form of negligence is behind a commercial truck accident, victims may find that they are eligible for compensation for their injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. This will mean filing a claim against the guilty truck driver’s employer, so victims may want an attorney to assist with the process, negotiate on their behalf and take the case to court if a settlement cannot be agreed upon. Everything starts with a case evaluation.