With Ohio being centrally located in the United States, trucks that are hauling goods back and forth will be a common sight on state roadways. For people who encounter these large vehicles, it can be concerning. A truck accident leaves little margin for error, and their size and the speeds at which they travel can increase the chances of a serious accident that results in injuries and fatalities. Research is useful when understanding the risk of a collision and its aftermath. One study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) validates concerns related to fatal truck crashes, as they are shown to be on the rise despite an overall improvement in roadway safety.
According to the NHTSA, there was a 1.8 percent reduction in U.S. highway fatalities in 2017. This came after there were two straight years in which there were significant increases. The reduction has continued for the first half of 2018. What is problematic is that large trucks showed a nine percent rise in fatal accidents in 2017 when compared to 2016. Fatal crashes with tractor-trailer combinations were up by nearly six percent. Straight trucks saw a rise of 18.7 percent.
People who were in other vehicles and had a crash with a large truck experienced 280 more deaths in 2017. That was an increase of 8.8 percent from the prior year. For those in large trucks, there was a rise of 8.7 percent in deaths. Although the federal government is expressing a positive outlook over the safety improvements on the road, there were still more than 37,000 deaths in 2017. Improved safety procedures have assisted in lowering the number of roadway deaths in the past four decades. Still, the number of serious injuries and deaths that occur as a result of truck accidents needs to be addressed.
Factors that are believed to contribute to the rise in truck fatalities are distracted driving, drowsy driving, DUIs, and speeding. For the most part, truckers and truck companies adhere to the federal trucking regulations when drivers are sent out on the road. However, there will always be drivers and companies that seek to bend the rules to get their loads to their destination quicker, thereby placing people in danger. Individuals who have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident must remember their right to be compensated. The investigation as to how and why such an accident happened is often key and can be critical to recovering compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs and more. A law firm that understands all aspects of truck accidents may be able to help with one of these cases.