FMCSA’s Collision Fatalities Study Finds Trucks and Buses “Overrepresented”
Fort Mill, SC Lawyer
In early November, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a webinar discussing its findings from its latest collision fatalities study. The webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets, which calls on city leaders to advance roadway safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. FMCSA’s study analyzes the details surrounding crash fatalities to help inform cities working to make roadways safer.
Upward Trend for Truck Crashes
FMCSA’s study, which looks at data up through 2013, reveals that commercial vehicles are overrepresented in the total number of crashes. Heavy trucks and buses are involved in about 4% of registered vehicles and 9% of total miles driven, but were involved in 13% of accidents and 13% of overall traffic fatalities. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,806 crashes in 2013 across the United States involving a large truck or bus killed 4,251 people. Of those fatalities, only 739 deaths, or 17%, were occupants of the truck or bus involved. However, 3,512 of the crash fatalities were people in passenger vehicles or motorcyclists, including 338 pedestrians and 78 bicyclists. Additionally, FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenburg indicated that crashes with fatalities were concentrated in ten states, including North Carolina, and account for 50% of the fatal crashes in the country.
In the aggregate, there was a 30% increase in pedestrian fatalities in large truck crashes from 2009 to 2013, and a 39% increase in bicyclist fatalities in large truck crashes over the same period. Truck drivers were also cited as being distracted or inattentive in over 14% of the fatal crashes.
Inattentive driving, which may involve reading, talking on the phone, or fatigue, ranks first in a list of 26 unsafe driving acts in North Carolina, ahead of merging improperly into traffic, failure to stop for a stop sign or light, failure to slow down in a construction zone, unsafe speed, and following too closely. Distractions include anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road (visual), the mind off the road (cognitive), or a driver’s hands off the wheel (manual distraction). In a recent study by NHTSA, 65% of truck drivers surveyed agreed that distraction was a current problem for commercial truck drivers. Access to technology was one of the main concerns found, and the increasing variety and availability of in-cab technologies was believed to contribute to driving distractions.
An inattentive commercial truck driver can cause dangerous accidents that often cause serious injury or even death if he or she becomes involved in a crash. Filing suit in court for compensation for injuries incurred in a tractor-trailer crash or for wrongful death requires careful investigation and a thorough understanding of the law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you pursue your case to recover damages for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.