Even as federal transportation authorities have recorded consecutive drops in the number of traffic accident fatalities recorded across the United States, the number of truck accident fatalities has remained more or less consistent or has actually increased over the years. In spite of that fact, there is little action by the federal administration, and no national outcry demanding answers to questions of trust trucking safety.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005 alone, there were 3,921 fatalities involving truck accidents. That same year, more than 100,000 people were injured, many of them seriously in truck accidents. That works out to an average rate of 10 fatal accidents, and more than 284 injuries in truck accidents every day. That’s not the only bad news. Between 2009 and 2012, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration there was actually an 18% increase in the number of fatal attacks. During the same period of time, the numbers of fatal car accidents actually dropped by 1.74%, while the annual distance traveled by trucks dropped by 2.57%. Further, the number of trucks actually dropped by 2.86%. In other words, even as there was a drop in the total number of vehicle miles traveled and the number of trucks on the road, the trucks were still involved in a higher number of fatal accidents.
Driver error contributes to far too many of those fatalities. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration statistics indicate that in 2012, close to 5% of all truck drivers had to be taken out of service after failing inspections. That is no small number; consider that in 2012 it worked out to 171,150 drivers who had to be taken out of service for violations.
Further, many trucking accidents every year can be avoided if trucks come with safety technologies. There are a number of safety systems that can be integrated into trucks to reduce the risk of accidents, like electronic speed limiters. However, the American Trucking Association says that only 10% of trucks on American highways are equipped with safety technology.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has not initiated any action to help reduce the number of people being killed in trucking accidents every year, even though there has been an uptick in the number of these crashes. Equipping trucks with greater amounts of technology, cracking down on driver fatigue by stringent oversight of drivers’ logbooks, and cracking down on impaired driving can help reduce trucking accident fatalities every year.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a trucking accident, speak with a trucking accident attorney at Montross Miller Muller and Mendelson Kennedy LLP.