FMCSA: Fatal truck crashes increase by 8 percent in 2015

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its estimates for the number of traffic fatalities during the first 9 months of 2016 earlier this year, people were understandably concerned. That's because it projected that as many as 27,875 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents versus 25,808 during the same timeframe in 2015, an 8 percent increase.

While these figures have sounded an alarm about the safety of our roads and highways, the numbers recently released by another federal agency will likely raise these concerns to another level.  

Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released its annual figures concerning large truck accidents, meaning those weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds.

They revealed that the number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents rose from 3,749 in 2014 to 4,050 in 2015, an 8 percent increase. Furthermore, the rate of large trucks involved in fatal accidents per 100 million miles traveled also increased by 8 percent from 1.34 to 1.45.

Some additional noteworthy findings by the FMCSA included:

  • 64 percent of all fatal large truck crashes involved two vehicles
  • 60 percent of all fatal large truck crashes occurred on rural roads and 25 percent occurred on the interstate
  • Of the 3,996 truckers involved in fatal large truck crashes, 211 were 66 years old or older, while 206 were 25 years old or younger

Perhaps the only bit of good news to come from the FMCSA's findings was that the number of large trucks involved in accidents resulting in injuries fell from 88,000 in 2014 to 87,000 in 2015, a 1 percent decrease.

Given these discouraging numbers, we can only hope that federal regulators and trucking outfits alike do more to improve industry safety.

If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck crash caused by the actions of a negligent driver, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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