Death rate jump in car and truck accidents highest in 96 years

The National Safety Council reports that despite the significant drop in miles traveled over the past year, the estimated death rate increased by 24%. This year-on-year increase is the highest jump in 96 years. In collaboration with several other transportation safety organizations, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will use its Operation Safe Driver Program to address this concern nationwide, including California, from July 11 through July 17. 

CVSA says the focus of this year’s safety drive will be on speeding because of the prevalence of speed-related fatalities. Their goal is to bring about reduced numbers of commercial vehicle vs. passenger vehicle accidents. A spokesperson says data indicates that interactions between law enforcement and vehicle operators during traffic stops bring about positive results. 

Drivers in or around commercial vehicles the target 

CVSA says a significant number of deaths result from the lack of consideration of truckers and motorists for each other. Along with their focus on speeding, law enforcement will use Operation Safe Driver Week to also track the following dangerous behaviors by drivers: 

  • Reckless driving 
  • Aggressive driving behavior 
  • Following too closely 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Lane change violations 
  • Disregarding traffic control devices 
  • Failure to wear a seat belt 
  • Drugged or drunk driving 

During the 2021 Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel will pull over those identified as unsafe or risky drivers and issue warnings or citations. While such a safety campaign might lead to fewer truck accident deaths, it might come too late for some. Any truck accident victim in California who can prove negligence on the part of a truck driver could file a personal injury claim to pursue damage recovery. Likewise, the surviving family members of those who did not survive truck accidents could file wrongful death claims in a California civil court.