2017 saw a rise in deaths from crashes involving large trucks

Federal statistics indicate that traffic fatalities were down last year in the United States. According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1.8 percent fewer deaths from motor vehicles crashes out on the nation’s roads in 2017 than was the case in 2016. This trend of lowered fatalities was also seen in a wide range of different types of traffic crashes, including pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents and car accidents.

However, large truck accidents did not follow this trend. Not only did fatalities from such crashes go up last year, they went up by a fairly significant amount. According to the NHTSA, there were 4,761 deaths from accidents involving large trucks last year. This was 9 percent higher than the 2016 total.

As a note, for the purpose of these statistics, large trucks are trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings exceeding 10,000 pounds.

Why do you think truck accident deaths saw such a different trend than traffic deaths generally last year? What do you think is key to bringing such fatalities down?

The statistics also underscore the point that, when large truck accidents occur, it is not uncommon for them to take a particularly big toll on people not in the involved trucks. Of the people killed in large truck crashes in 2017, around 82 percent were individuals not in large trucks.

So, how truck drivers behave behind the wheel can have major implications for the individuals they share the roads with. In your opinion, how safely do truck drivers here in New Jersey act out on the roads?