The federal government releases a detailed report of U.S. car and truck accidents every year. According to the most recent statistics released this year, there were about 30,000 fatal crashes in 2014, killing 32,675 people. Of those, nearly 1,000 people in Illinois and 800 people in Missouri died in motor vehicle crashes that year.
Almost 3,700 men, women and children died as a result of catastrophic truck crashes in Missouri, Illinois and the other 48 U.S. states. The total number of people killed in large truck accidents in 2014 was the highest since 2009. The number of deaths in accidents involving commercial trucks across the country unfortunately has been steadily trending upward over those six years.
Most Killed in Trucking Accidents are in Passenger Cars
Further illustrating the dangers of big rigs:
- 16 percent of all 2014 trucking accident deaths were commercial truck occupants
- 68 percent of all those killed in tractor-trailer crashes were passengers in cars and SUVs
- 15 percent of those killed in trucking accidents were on motorcycles and bikes, or were walking
In Missouri, 73 percent killed were occupants in passenger vehicles and 20 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians.
But the federal government is not only reporting the grim statistics of fatal trucking accidents. It’s also offering solutions to lower the number of truck accident victims.
Each year the National Transportation Safety Board publishes its “Most Wanted List.” The NTSB Most Wanted List for 2016 includes reducing accidents involving fatigued drivers.
Trucking Accidents Involving Tired Truck Drivers
For obvious reasons, crashes involving tired tractor-trailer drivers can be the most deadly. That’s why a federal mandate requires that, by the end of 2019, all truckers must log their hours on the road using use electronic devices rather than with paper logs. These ELDs are synched with the truck’s engine and automatically track a driver’s hours, making it hard for unscrupulous truck drivers and trucking companies to skirt the rules.
Truckers’ hours must be logged to ensure they are complying with the federal Hours of Service rules, which outline the maximum number of hours a trucker can go without rest. The rules were adopted in 2013 but, due to trucking industry opposition, were suspended in 2014 when Congress called for more study on their impact.
To limit accidents involving fatigued truck drivers, the NTSB calls for reasoned regulations, more trucking company resources, and a better sense of personal responsibility.
While these avenues may eventually prove fruitful, trucking accident deaths continue to rise. If you had a family member killed in an accident involving a commercial truck, you may want to consult a truck accident attorney, who holds irresponsible truckers and trucking companies financially accountable to their victims.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.