Traffic fatalities from large truck crashes increased to their highest level in 29 years last year according to newly released data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Deaths in large truck crashes rose 16%, from 725 (the previous year) up to 841. Of those fatalities, about 40% of the vehicle occupants were not wearing seatbelts. Traffic fatalities in all other categories – such as passenger car crashes, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian and pedal cyclist crashes – decreased by two percent in 2017, making fatal truck accidents the outlier.
Why are more trucks involved in fatal accidents?
The truth is, no one knows yet. Because the traffic fatality data are so new, the NHTSA has not yet had a chance to determine the precise cause of the increase in commercial truck occupant fatalities. The federal traffic safety regulators will explore many factors that contribute to truck and other motor vehicle crashes such as distracted driving, drunk and drugged driving and speeding, and how advanced technology features such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and rear cameras are contributing to traffic safety for large trucks.
The numbers were released in a conference call hosted by the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). In an article in Transport Topics News, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief, Ray Martinez, said that large truck occupant fatalities is a category which required more research. Martinez also mentioned that as the U.S. economy strengthens, more commercial vehicles are traveling the highways. It is somewhat of a corollary that as the economy grows, and more vehicle miles are traveled, the potential for crashes and injuries increases.
What happens if you are injured in a NJ tractor-trailer crash?
Truck crashes are among the most dangerous and deadly collisions that can occur on New Jersey roads. Depending on where and how you were injured, you may have different options for collecting recovery. For example, if you are hit while a truck is backing up, you may be able to make a claim against the driver. If you are injured because of crumbling infrastructure, the state or the county may be liable (though these claims have a much shorter statute of limitations, and different regulations). If you are injured in a chain reaction crash, there could be multiple parties to blame.
After you or someone you care about has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck crash, you will need skilled legal help. Our NJ truck accident lawyers can help you recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. If you lose a loved one, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.
The skilled NJ truck accident attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP are here to fight for compensation for you when you have been injured in a truck crash. We work hard to protect you, your family, and your future. We serve clients throughout the state. To request a free consultation about your case at our Toms River, Edison, or Red Bank offices, call us today at 732-384-1331 or complete our contact form. If you are too injured to travel, we will come to you.