New Yorkers sharing the road with large trucks will likely be concerned about the possibility of a collision. Since these vehicles are so massive, travel long distances, move at significant speeds and drivers are on the road for long stretches, there are myriad factors that can spark a crash. An important part of preventing these motor vehicle accidents is statistical research and understanding the cause.
Initial projections for 2019 indicate there was a 1% increase in truck-related fatalities in an accident from 2018. This coincided with a reduction in overall traffic deaths. The research was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is extrapolating based on currently available data. It uses the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
FARS provides information to lawmakers about fatal accidents. If a truck weighs more than 10,000 pounds, it is categorized as a large truck. There is no separation between commercial vehicles and vehicles that are privately owned. Representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) emphasize the importance of road safety and plans to use research and development to find ways to reduce crashes. These initiatives include technological advances, hours-of-service rules and testing for intoxicating substances.
The decline in overall fatalities is a positive step that had been ongoing from 2017 and 2018. There were approximately 36,120 deaths in auto accidents in 2019. That was a reduction of 1.2% from 2018. The total number of fatalities remains higher than it was 10 years ago and the fatal truck accident increase is worrisome. Road safety specialists suggest that truckers who are driving while impaired, are distracted and able to drive faster with higher speed limits are potential causes.
Carriers and law enforcement are encouraged to focus on safety procedures such as drug recognition training, breath-testing machines inside the vehicle and restriction of cellphone use through technology. Truck accidents tend to be worse than passenger vehicle accidents. A smaller vehicle being hit by a speeding truck can cause severe injuries that require surgery, lost time on the job and long-term damage. It can impact people physically and emotionally. Fatalities are also troublingly common. The investigation into the accidents can be a fundamental part of a successful legal filing. Discussing the case with a law firm experienced with motor vehicle accidents may help with a claim.