The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data showing that the number of accidents causing trucker fatalities is rising. According to the NHTSA, 885 truck occupants were killed in crashes during the year 2018, representing an increase of nearly 1% over 2017 and the highest number of truck occupant deaths since 1988, when 911 large truck occupants died in crashes. The overall number of fatalities related to large truck crashes in New Jersey and other states also rose.
According to the NHTSA, large truck crashes resulted in 4,678 fatalities during 2018, which is nearly a 1% increase over the year 2017, when 4,369 people died in large truck accidents. The agency added that 2018 was the fourth year in a row during which the number of truck crash fatalities increased. The number of pedestrian fatalities related to large truck crashes rose by 13% in 2018. A spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said the data give good reason not to loosen trucking safety regulations.
The largest trade group in the trucking industry, the American Trucking Associations, said the data do not give a complete picture of how safe it is to drive on U.S. highways. The ATA said the information does not include an examination of the number of miles traveled by large trucks during the year. The IIHS has said that safety features like automatic emergency brakes and forward collision alert systems may reduce accidents by 50%, but many large trucks still lack these features.
People who are injured in large truck crashes may be entitled to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney who practices personal injury law might help in such cases by gathering evidence or interviewing witnesses to build a case for trial. An attorney may also be able to negotiate a money settlement with parties that have liability.