For many drivers in Missouri, an accident involving a large truck is one of their greatest fears. Tractor-trailers carry substantial weight in a huge volume. This means that other vehicles involved in a collision are much more likely to suffer serious damage, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Even more troublesome is the fact that large truck collisions are on the rise. Since 2009, the number of fatal truck accidents has increased by over 52% despite the fact that many new safety technologies have been introduced. Between 2016 and 2018, truck crash fatalities rose by 5.7%, and the trend is continuing.
In response to these concerns, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, announced that it is planning a new study of large truck accidents nationwide. It conducted its last such study 15 years ago and wants to update its understandings on the basis of current road conditions and technologies. The agency noted that it plans to study all serious trucking accidents, including those that led to injuries, fatalities or vehicles being towed away. The FMCSA announced that it is investigating ways to include onboard electronic data as part of the report. Many semi-trucks are equipped with computers that record hard braking, lane changes and the speed of driver travel.
In the last FMCSA study, when the truck was the party at fault in the crash, problems were most commonly caused by driver error. Another significant concern was negligent truck maintenance, particularly poorly maintained or defective brakes. The agency announced that it is concerned about the potential impact of mobile devices and distracted driving on trucking crashes and would include this as part of the study.
Many people involved in large truck collisions suffer severe injuries that can lead to time out of work and costly medical bills. A personal injury attorney may help victims to pursue compensation.