According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011 saw a total of 32,367 automobile accident fatalities, the lowest number since 1949. The number of drivers and passengers also decreased from 2.24 million to 2.22 million.
While these figures are encouraging to most drivers, those driving in large trucks should be concerned going into 2013. The number of drivers and passengers killed as a result of a large truck crash saw an increase of 20% in 2011 from the previous year, which translates to 635 deaths as compared to 530 in 2010.
The report indicated that the risk or injury or death is higher for drivers and passengers within the truck than for the other vehicles involved in the accident. Not all of the accidents listed were collisions involving multiple vehicles. A total of 403 truck drivers were killed in single-vehicle accidents, an increase from 339 the previous year.
As this is the second year for truck-related accident fatalities to increase, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the trucking industry’s regulatory agency, is concerned that the numbers continue to rise.
Although not definite, researchers believe that an increased number of trucks on the road and higher speed limits for truck drivers contribute to the number of accidents and the high percentage of mortality. Additionally, these numbers place a heavier weight of responsibility on truck drivers themselves. The condition of the truck and also the driver are being researched as potential contributing factors. The FMCSA has called into question the amount of rest a truck driver gets while on the road, and the potential impact that could be having on the accident statistics.
Many states are tightening up restrictions on cell phone use for truck and other commercial drivers as well. As reported previously, the Illinois legislature passed three bills which prohibit cellular phone use while driving, and ensure an increased level of safety for drivers, passengers, nearby vehicles, and workers in construction zones. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811701.pdf
If you are suffering from a trucking accident injury, you may have had to miss work or find other employment. The attorneys at the Killino Firm understand how tough your situation is in this rough economy, and want to help you understand your legal rights. You may be entitled to monetary damages for your injury, as well as for pain and suffering endured as a result. Contact the Killino Firm today for a free case evaluation. Let us fight for you and make sure you receive the compensation you so rightly deserve.