Kentucky readers may be concerned to learn that, according to a new report, fatal large truck crashes are on the rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the report, which updates preliminary data issued in 2017.
The FMCSA report states that there were 4,213 deadly crashes involving large trucks in 2016, which represented a 3 percent increase over the 4,074 deadly accidents that were reported in 2015. A total of 4,317 people lost their lives in large truck crashes in 2016 compared to 4,094 the year before. Of those fatalities, 722 people were the occupants of the large truck. This number was an increase over 2015's 665 large truck occupant deaths.
The report also indicated that injury accidents caused by large trucks are on the rise. In 2016, 145,000 people were injured in 104,000 crashes involving large trucks. This represents a sharp increase over the 116,000 injuries attributed to 83,000 accidents in 2015. Of the fatal accidents, 61 percent occurred in rural areas, 27 percent happened on interstate highways and 15 percent took place on rural interstate highways. Approximately 3 percent of the truck drivers who were involved in deadly accidents had a blood alcohol content level between .01 and .08, which is at or below the legal limit. Two percent of truck drivers were legally drunk at the time of their fatal crash. The FMCSA defines large trucks as vehicles that exceed 10,000 pounds. There were 11.5 million of these trucks registered nationwide in 2016.
Truck accidents frequently cause catastrophic injuries that leave victims temporarily or permanently disabled. In these cases, injured victims may wish to contact an attorney to learn about their legal rights. It may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover medical expenses and other damages.