California depends on commercial trucks to transport goods and materials throughout the state. Unfortunately, more and more of these trucks are getting into fatal accidents.
More fatal truck accidents
According to the latest data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatal truck accidents are on the rise in California and the rest of the country. In 2019, there were 4,479 deadly truck crashes nationwide, which is 18 more than the previous year. While that might seem like a small increase, it’s part of a larger, troubling trend in motor vehicle accidents.
Between 2008 and 2015, the annual number of deadly truck accidents never exceeded 3,754. However, in 2016, the total jumped to 4,177 and has been increasing every year since.
California has seen a similar upward trend. In 2019, there were 355 fatal truck accidents in the state, compared to 340 in 2017 and 324 in 2016.
Truck crash injuries and fatalities
According to the FMCSA, there were more than 510,000 truck accidents reported to the police in 2019, resulting in 5,005 deaths and around 158,000 injuries. The vast majority of the victims were occupants of passenger vehicles that collided with trucks, as opposed to truck drivers or passengers.
The agency found that 57% of all fatal large truck crashes occurred in rural areas, and 25% happened on interstate highways. Around 36% of all deadly accidents took place at night.
Common causes of fatal truck accidents
There are several factors that can lead to fatal truck accidents, including:
- More trucks on the road
- Distracted drivers
- Drowsy drivers
- Impaired drivers
- Inexperienced drivers
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Bad weather
When negligent truck drivers cause fatal accidents, the victim’s family has the right to seek compensation in civil court. Possible damages include funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and loss of companionship.