Truck crashes in Oklahoma and across the country continue to lead to deadly results. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truckers are dying behind the wheel at the greatest level in 30 years. This also means that others on the road face an even greater threat, given that most injuries in commercial trucking crashes involve smaller passenger vehicles. In 2018, 885 drivers or passengers in large trucks lost their lives in collisions, the highest number since 1988, when 911 died.
In total, 4,678 people were killed in 2018 trucking accidents, a 1% increase from the 4,367 who lost their lives in crashes involving trucks one year before. This marked the fourth consecutive year of increasing numbers of fatal truck collisions. In particular, the NHTSA noted a 13% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in these crashes in 2018. Of course, these numbers point only to deaths, and many more people face catastrophic injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck. The size and weight of trucks mean that others involved in a collision are far more likely to be seriously injured.
While truck accidents rose, other types of crashes declined in 2018. There were a total of 36,560 collisions on American roads, marking a 2.4% decline from 2017 numbers. Fatalities also fell along with the number of crashes, even though people are driving more. Many have pointed to improved safety technologies as a reason for the decrease in collisions overall, but this raises questions about trucking safety as well.
Truck driver fatigue and poorly maintained vehicles, for example, can present a significant threat. Someone injured in a trucking accident caused by another party’s negligence may work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for damages.