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Missouri Sunset

NHTSA: 2017 sees 9 percent rise in fatal large truck crashes

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Posted on October 8, 2018

Missouri residents often find themselves driving alongside large trucks, and they will want to be especially careful when that happens. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2017 saw a decrease in every type of fatal traffic crash except large truck crashes.

For example, passenger vehicle, motorcycle and pedestrian crash fatalities saw a 1.4, 3.1 and 1.7 percent decrease, respectively. Speeding-related deaths went down 5.6 percent, and bicyclist deaths dropped by a significant 8.1 percent. The total number of people killed in traffic fatalities declined by 1.8 percent 37,806 in 2016 to 37,133 in 2017.

On the other hand, large truck traffic fatalities rose 9 percent from 4,369 to 4,761. Multi-vehicle crashes involving large trucks also rose 8.8 percent. NHTSA defines large trucks as having a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration commented on the report, saying that most of the trucks involved in these fatal crashes weighed less than 26,000 pounds and so may not have been under FMCSA regulations. The number of fatal accidents with trucks between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds doubled.

The number of passenger vehicle occupants who died in large truck crashes rose from 3,644 to 3,920. While large truck occupants were less likely to die in crashes, they actually made up 16 percent more of the fatalities in 2017.

In the event that a trucker’s negligence causes a commercial vehicle accident, victims may be able to file a personal injury claim against the trucking company. Perhaps the trucker was drowsy behind the wheel, or maybe the truck was not maintained according to federal standards. A lawyer may assist in building up the case with proof against the defendant. This might include the police report, work log, in-cab camera footage and truck maintenance records.