The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees motor vehicle safety issues, recently released its analysis of motor vehicle crashes that occurred in this country in 2011. It’s a mix of good news and bad news.
Overall, the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents decreased almost 2 percent in 2011 compared to the year prior. Still, 32,367 individuals died in car and truck accidents in 2011. Another 2.2 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes last year.
Fatal Truck Accidents Jumped in 2011
Unfortunately, in terms of trucking accidents in 2011:
• The number of large truck occupants killed in crashes increased 20 percent over 2010 – a second consecutive annual increase
• This breaks down to a 19 percent increase in deaths in single-vehicle accidents and a 21 percent increase in truck accident deaths that included multiple vehicles.
• The number of injuries to occupants of large commercial trucks jumped 15 percent compared to 2010
The news was not good for other types of fatal traffic accidents as well. The number of people killed in motorcycle accidents increased 2 percent in 2011. The number of pedestrians and bicyclists who died in traffic accidents in 2011 rose 3 percent and almost 9 percent, respectively. And deaths in motor vehicle accidents that involved distracted drivers was 2 percent higher in 2011 over 2010.
In Missouri, the total number of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes last year fell 4.5 percent from 2010, and Illinois experienced a 1 percent decrease.
Determining Fault in Complex Trucking Accidents
So while there is good news to report regarding traffic accident deaths in the bi-state area and across the country, deaths in commercial vehicle accidents have gone up, which is troubling. Determining who is at fault in these types of accidents can be complicated, as trucking companies often times are reluctant to cooperate. Attorneys experienced in investigating complex trucking accidents are often called upon to prove culpability and hold all responsible parties accountable for compensating the victims.