FMCSA releases report on 2016's fatal truck crashes

Drivers in Texas know how dangerous it can be to share the road with commercial trucks and buses. Unfortunately, large truck accidents appear to be on the rise. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a report showing a 3 percent increase in fatal truck crashes from 2015 to 2016. This is the administration's most detailed analysis yet of crash data.

Fatal crashes involved a total of 4,213 large trucks in 2016; this is compared to 4,074 in 2015. The number of actual fatalities rose from 4,094 to 4,317. Of that total, 722 were large truck occupants; this is up from 665 in 2015. The number of non-fatal crashes jumped from 83,000 to 104,000, with over 145,000 reported injuries.

Despite this increase, the truck involvement rate was the same at 1.46 fatal crashes for every 100 million miles driven. The number of registered trucks on the road went up from 11.2 to 11.5 million. Overall, the period from 2009 to 2016 has seen a 28 percent increase in fatal truck and bus accidents, compared to the 34 percent decrease between 2005 and 2009.

Speeding and distracted driving were the top driver-related factors in fatal crashes. While 61 percent of fatal crashes took place in rural areas, 27 percent were on interstate highways.

If the negligence of a truck or bus driver results in an accident, the victim may be able to file a personal injury claim. If the victim dies, a family member or other eligible dependent could file a wrongful death suit. This is where a lawyer can come in, evaluate the case and determine if the victim contributed to the accident. The lawyer could handle all negotiations for claims that have a valid basis.

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