Truck accident deaths are down but injuries are up. Why is this?
In April, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its most recent edition of Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts. This report compiled commercial truck and bus accident statistics from 2014. The report’s most notable findings are the following:
- Deaths in truck accidents decreased five percent from 2014 to 2013
- Injuries in truck accidents increased 21 percent over the same time frame
- Truck accidents with only property damage increased 29 percent over this period
One would think that if fatal deaths decreased, injuries and property damage crashes would decrease as well. In fact, the opposite has happened. The question is: why?
Potential causes of these conflicting trends
One possible cause for decreasing deaths and increasing injuries is enhanced safety features in automobiles. For instance, features such as side-impact airbags, collision warning systems and electronic stability control could be helping more individuals to survive truck crashes.
According to Dan Murray, the Vice President of the American Transportation Research Institute, the more likely reason for increased injuries and decreased deaths involve the time of day during which truckers drive. In an article published in Overdrive.com, he states that federal regulations governing truck driver rest periods have also changed the hours of the day in which truck drivers operate.
If truck drivers drive fewer miles at night, it makes sense that they would drive more during morning and evening rush hours. During rush hours, there are more vehicles on the road travelling at lower speeds. Accidents at lower speeds are less likely to result in fatalities. This theory is a plausible explanation for the decrease in fatal crashes and the increase in injury and property damage crashes. It will be interesting to watch these trends going forward.
Anyone who has been injured in a motor vehicle accident or anyone who has lost a loved one in an accident needs to consult with an experienced injury attorney immediately. For decades, people across Indianapolis and surrounding areas have placed their trust in me, attorney Steve Crell.