Statistics about motor vehicle accidents become more than disconnected data under analysis. Repeating patterns reveal how accidents happen. More importantly, a study of crash statistics may lead to new laws and commercial vehicle regulations that can prevent Los Angeles collisions.
Fatal accidents nationwide dropped approximately 15 percent during the last two decades, making roads across the U.S. safer than they have ever been. The steady decline reflects an overall trend, but the death rate jumps when large truck accidents are isolated.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recorded 33,561 fatalities in 2012. More than 3,900 deaths were due to crashes involving large trucks. Over 3,200 people killed in those accidents were not truck drivers – 82 percent were operating smaller vehicles or passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Fewer than three of five fatal collisions involving passenger cars and trucks were multi-vehicle crashes in 2012. At least two vehicles were involved in 82 percent of deadly semi-truck accidents. The NHTSA estimates human error is the reason for 93 percent of all traffic accidents, including large truck collisions.
Crash-related behaviors by commercial truck drivers are similar to the careless or reckless actions of non-professional drivers. Twenty-one percent of large truck fatalities in 2012 involved the truck driver speeding; nearly seven percent were linked to inattentiveness. Nearly 13 percent of truck drivers in fatal crashes had been involved in at least one prior traffic accident.
Large trucks are a much smaller population of road users than passenger vehicles. Yet, commercial trucks were involved in 8.3 percent of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2012. The potential for serious injuries and deaths is greater in truck accidents due to the massive size and weight of the vehicles.
Truck drivers, trucking companies and related third parties may be held accountable for collisions caused by negligence. Crash victims and surviving family members have the right to take legal actions to recover damages.