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New Truck Accident Study by FMCSA—Hopefully Reducing Crashes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced plans to conduct a new truck crash causation study for the first time in over 15 years. The study is designed to provide new information about the causes of truck accidents, taking into account shifts in technology and driver behavior. In particular, the FMCSA wants to see how cell phone use has impacted truck crashes.

The FMCSA is currently “seeking information on how best to design and conduct a study to identify factors contributing to all FMCSA-reportable crashes involved in tow-away, injury, and fatal accidents.” FMCSA plans to employ a methodology that addresses “the use of on-board electronic systems which can generate information about speeding, lane departure, and hard braking,” but it will also seek to identify other behaviors, activities, and conditions that play a role in truck accidents.

In recent years, large truck accident rates have risen. Between 2009 and 2018, deadly trucking collisions rose by 52.6%. Back in 2003 when the FMCSA completed its initial truck crash causation study, it determined that driver error was the major cause of collisions. It will be looking to see whether that fact remains true in recent years and, in particular, whether a truck driver’s negligence is the primary reason for crashes in an era of increased technology.

The following facts and figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) help to show the severity of truck accidents:

  • 4,136 people were killed in truck accidents in 2018;
  • 67% of those killed in trucking collisions are occupants of passenger vehicles;
  • 16% of people who suffer fatal injuries in large truck collisions are large truck occupants;
  • 15% of people killed in large truck crashes are pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists;
  • Truck accident deaths have risen significantly between 2009-2018 (truck accident rates were at their lowest in 2009); and
  • Rate of truck occupant deaths has increased particularly significantly since 2009.

If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a truck crash, contact the Law Offices of Gregg A. Williams today!

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