Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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More truck injury accidents but fewer fatal accidents in 2014

The federal government compiles statistics about every truck accident in California and the United States, releasing a report called the 'Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts" through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration every year. A study of the changes in truck accident statistics from 2013 to 2014 has identified an unusual statistical pattern. The number of fatal accidents declined substantially from the first year to the next. However, the number of truck accidents that caused non-fatal injuries increased dramatically over the same period of time.

Slightly more than 60 percent of all fatal truck accidents in 2014 happened on rural roads, while about 25 percent happened on interstate highways in urban or rural areas. The number of deadly crashes that involved trucks dropped by 5 percent, from 3,921 in 2013 to 3,744 in 2014. During that same year the total of non-fatal injury accidents involving trucks spiked sharply, rising from 73,000 crashes to 88,000. This is an increase of 21 percent, and there is as yet no complete understanding as to why this may have occurred.

Faced with this data, advocates for the owners and operators of commercial trucks attempted to devise a course of action that would reduce the injury accident rate and keep the fatality accident rate low. One suggestion was to place speed limiters on all trucks in America, forcing the vehicles to stay at 65 mph or lower. A second idea was to mandate 65 mph speed limits across the entire nation.

Trucking accidents can result in catastrophic injuries to others who are on the road at the time, in part due to the high weight and size of commercial vehicles. A person who has been injured in a crash that was due to the negligence of a truck driver, such as one who was speeding or distracted, may want legal help in seeking compensation from the driver as well as the trucking company itself.

Source: CCJ, "Fatal Crashes Involving Trucks Fell by 5 Percent in 2014", Matt Cole, April 18, 2016

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