The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a new report on 2017 crash trends based on data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. What Virginia residents should know is that in a year that saw a decline in all segments of car crash deaths, the number of people who died in large truck crashes increased dramatically.
The total number of people killed in car crashes went down by 1.8 percent from 37,806 to 37,133. Passenger vehicle, motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths dropped by 1.4, 3.1 and 1.7 percent, respectively. Bicyclist deaths saw the greatest decrease (8.1 percent), and speeding-related deaths also went down considerably (5.6 percent).
Despite these improvements, large truck traffic fatalities rose by 9 percent from 4,369 to 4,761. NHTSA defines a large truck in this report as one with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that the trucks involved in many of the crashes weighed less than 26,000 pounds and thus may not have been under FMCSA regulations.
There were also double the number of fatal crashes involving trucks between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds. While car occupants composed most of the deaths in large truck crashes, occupants of the trucks themselves composed 16 percent more of the fatalities than in 2016.
The victim of a truck accident may want to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. They may be able to file a claim against the trucking company and be covered for their past and future medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost income and other losses. A lawyer could have investigators gather proof of negligence and bring in medical experts to measure the extent of the injuries.