Truck Accident Fatalities are on the Rise
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that overall traffic-related fatalities declined from 2016 to 2017, indicating a larger downward trend in fatal traffic crashes. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for accidents involving large commercial trucks, as fatal truck crashes reached a 29-year high in 2017.
According to information from NHTSA, 4,761 people died in truck-related accidents that year. This is a nine percent increase from the previous year, which amounts to 392 additional deaths. 72 percent of fatalities involved passengers in other vehicles, and about 1,300 fatalities involved occupants of a large truck.
These numbers indicate how dangerous commercial truck accidents can be for both truck drivers and motorists in passenger vehicles. If you drive regularly, you will almost certainly encounter a large truck on the road, and it is important to know the common causes of accidents as well as your rights after a crash.
Common Causes of Increasing Truck Crash Fatalities
Due to societal and economic changes in the past decade, more and more trucks are on the roads transporting various types of freight on a constant basis. As the demand for greater trucking services has increased, the trucking industry itself has not made substantial changes. In fact, the current administration has reduced trucking regulations instead of increasing them.
With the increase in demand, the trucking industry faces a shortage of state-of-the-art trucks, technicians to work on these trucks, and truck drivers. With all of these shortages come compliance issues with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), which can lead to negligence and accidents.
Distracted driving is another cited cause for the increase in truck-related deaths. When a driver is distracted, they may not notice traffic or other obstacles in front of them, and they may have to stop short to avoid a collision. Commercial trucks – especially when they are fully loaded – are significantly more difficult to slow down or stop than smaller vehicles. For this reason, a distracted truck driver can often result in a devastating crash more than a distracted driver of a smaller vehicle might.
Greater demand and driver distractions are just two reasons that may help explain the rise in fatal truck crashes. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, there are different parties that may be held liable for the tragic death, including:
- Negligent truck drivers
- Trucking companies that employ negligent drivers
- Negligent trucking companies
- Negligent truck technicians or maintenance crews
- Negligent cargo-loading crews
You should seek help from a lawyer who handles wrongful death claims in Kansas right away. These claims can be complicated, and you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Salina, KS for Help Today
At the law firm of Neustrom & Associates, we represent injured truck accident victims, as well as clients who lost a close family member in a truck crash. Please do not hesitate to call 785-825-1505 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced Salina truck accident attorney.