Sharing the Florida roadways with large trucks can be an intimidating experience. Since drivers are on the road for long stretches and are so accustomed to driving, they are prone to driving while distracted, overtaxing themselves so they may be drowsy behind the wheel, driving at excessive speeds, and operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Accidents happen frequently for these and other reasons. Researchers assessed the rate of overall accidents in 2019 and found a rise in fatal truck accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its preliminary findings for road fatalities in 2019. In total, there was a reduction of fatalities by 1.2% with 36,120 deaths. In 2018, there were 36,560. For trucks, however, there was a 1% increase. In its statistics, there is no separation between commercial vehicles and vehicles that are owned privately. This is the second consecutive year in which there was a rise in truck fatalities. For 2018, they rose by 0.9% from the year before.
This rise was simultaneous to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implementing a mandate that trucks need to have an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) to keep track of their time spent on the road. This is meant to make sure they do not go beyond the limits to avoid risk to themselves and other drivers. The FMCSA recently stated that it planned a large research project to determine why there has been an increase of nearly 6% in fatal truck crashes between 2016 and 2018. The goal is to identify the catalysts for these collisions and address them.
There are positives in the statistics for 2019, specifically the reduction in total road deaths. Still, the number of fatal truck accidents and its apparent continuing rise is a troubling issue that should give pause to anyone who is on the road with a private or commercial truck. Given their size, truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and death. Insurers may try to take advantage of a distressed family by making a lowball offer and hoping they accept it. Families who are struggling often make the mistake of doing so. Legal assistance can avoid this and help with investigating the collision, deducing how it happened and taking the appropriate steps can help with medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and funeral costs. Calling for a consultation is the first step.