FMCSA: 2016 saw 3 percent rise in fatal truck crashes

Drivers in California who have been in a truck accident or had a near escape from one may be interested to know about a data drill-down report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Just published in May, it analyzes the number of fatal and non-fatal crashes in 2016 between large trucks and passenger vehicles. Data shows that fatal crashes rose 3 percent in that year.

The number of fatalities rose from 4,094 to 4,317, and the number of large trucks involved increased from 4,074 to 4,213. There were also 57 more large-truck occupant fatalities. At the same time, the truck involvement rate remained at 1.46. This means that 1.46 trucks were in fatal crashes for every 100 million miles traveled. In 2016, the number of registered trucks on the road grew from 11.2 to 11.5 million.

The report also determined some common threads among fatal crashes. 73 percent involved another driver, an animal or an object that either encroached upon the trucker’s lane or entered it. Speeding and inattentive driving were the two most prominent driver-related factors. 13 percent of large-truck occupants neglected their seat belt, and of them, 43 percent were killed.

One out of every three accidents occurred between 6 pm and 6 am. 61 percent took place in rural areas and 27 percent on interstate highways. Some happened on rural interstate highways.

Truck accident victims who believe that the trucker’s negligence is to blame might want to seek legal advice. If their own part in the accident was small under the system of pure comparative negligence, they may be awarded damages. The lawyer may be able to assist with the claim, hiring experts to gather the police report, the work log, in-cab camera footage and any other evidence against the defendant. He or she might then negotiate for an out-of-court settlement with the trucking company.