Trucks and Commercial vehicles on California roadways can cause some of the most devastating accidents because they are so much bigger than passenger vehicles. Drivers of both passenger vehicles and large trucks must share the roadways safely. Unfortunately, each year, there are numerous accidents involving large trucks, tractor-trailers and commercial vehicles.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in California, in 2016, there were a total of 3,357 accidents that resulted in fatalities with 3,623 deaths. The majority of the accidents were single vehicle. That would be 57 percent, or 2,063 accidents. Although, 43 percent were multiple vehicle accidents.
Nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) reported that there were 37,133 people killed in car crashes in 2017. They also noted that, unfortunately, total deaths were up 6.5 percent in 2016 and 8.4 percent in 2015. However, in 2017 the number of people who died in car crashes finally began to decrease (by 1.8 percent). The number is still too high but experts are hopeful that this is the beginning of a new trend toward fewer truck and commercial vehicle crashes.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) reports that California ranked in the top ten states in the country for fatal accidents involving large trucks, commercial vehicles and buses from 2014-2016. These top ten states made up 51 percent of all the fatal accidents involving these types of vehicles in the country and 50 percent of the related deaths.
Fortunately, the FMCSA is evaluating sweeping changes to the government’s Safey Measurement System, which is used to identify the freight carriers at high risk for future crashes. Hopefully, new regulations will result in safer roads for all of us.
However, at present, there is simply not enough enforcement of the current rules that are designed to monitor and track risky trucking companies.
This information is for education and is not legal advice.