FMCSA releases 2014 truck accident statistics

The release of trucking accident statistics has members of the industry in Louisiana and around the country scratching their heads to make sense out of them. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2014 decreased by 5 percent from the preceding year. However, the number of non-fatal injuries increased by more than 20 percent over the same period.

At least one government official points to forward crash avoidance technology as one reason behind the reduction of fatalities. Before trucks were equipped with braking systems that slow and stop the vehicle in emergencies when drivers fail to do so, a distracted truck driver or someone suffering from truck driver fatigue might cause a deadly multi-vehicle crash by slamming into slowing or stopped traffic.

In contrast, an executive with the American Transportation Research Institute pointed to a different reason. Federal regulations related to hours of service and mandatory breaks have resulted in more trucks being on the road during morning rush hours instead of in the middle of the night. An increase in injury accidents could be because there are more cars on the road at that time, but the fatality decrease could be attributed to slower speeds because of the congestion.

Regardless of the cause, a person who is injured in a truck accident may be forced to incur significant medical expenses and will often lose wages due to an inability to return to work. When the accident is the result of negligence on the part of a truck driver, a personal injury attorney can aid in seeking compensation for those and other losses through a lawsuit filed against the driver and, when appropriate, the trucking company as well.

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