Despite advances in safety technology, truckers are facing their highest accident fatality rates in decades. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that trucker deaths are at their highest level in more than 30 years. Likewise, total accidents involving trucks are up as well, signaling a larger safety concern for the trucking industry.
With more danger to the job, truckers should take these risks into consideration and discuss any worries with their employers. Although the report deals with 2018 data, these trends are in the negative direction and can be a concern for truckers and their families. Should a trucker get hurt on the job, it is important for truckers or their loved ones to find legal support after an accident.
An NHTSA November 2019 report revealed the number of large truck riders killed in accidents rose by .8 percent from 878 fatalities in 2017 to 885 in 2018. Furthermore, overall deaths involving truck accidents were up almost 1 percent, coming in at 4,678 deaths compared with 4,369 in 2017. Additionally, the total number of people involved in those types of crashes also rose 12.5 percent over that span, from 553,000 to 622,000.
Luckily, injuries saw a decrease from the previous year, decreasing from 40,000 in 2017 down to 39,000 in 2018. This hopefully means some safety precautions are set to continue reducing injuries.
Putting 2020 into Context
Although the NHTSA still has not reported on 2019’s trucker accident statistics, looking at 2020 can help add a perspective to future travel trends and data points. Interestingly, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has already affected trucking regulations.
To meet the demand for products like food, sanitation materials and medical supplies, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) relaxed some existing standards regarding trucker shifts. These include non-driving work breaks and more-flexible 14-hour work days for eligible truckers. As such, these truckers may be on the road for longer consecutive periods of time without a true break.
For this reason, it is essential to consider these factors when examining any sudden short-term trucking trends. Both truckers and passenger vehicle motorists may be at danger with these rule relaxations, but it is also important to note there are fewer vehicles on the road as well.
Dealing with an Accident
An accident for a trucker could mean many things. First, any injuries could certainly affect how the trucker lives life after an accident. Second, an accident has the potential to revoke a CDL license or the trucker’s job. A trucker could lose years of hard work and a steady job in an instant. For that reason, legal help may be needed.
“It is important for truckers to find a hardworking truck accident lawyer to handle any issues after an accident,” said Attorney Christopher Nicolaysen. “A reliable truck accident lawyer can help handle claims, conduct a thorough investigation and work to save you time and money. Contacting one can help protect your job as a trucker.”
Sorting through life after a truck accident can be a difficult task. That’s why it is important to find a reliable network of assistance after an accident.
As the trucking industry drives on throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a chance that the rate of truck accidents and fatalities will go up as well. As such, it is important for truckers to take the necessary precautions to drive safely and to contact a truck accident attorney after an accident should they need assistance.