Based on a preliminary study, the Department of Transportation said there was likely an overall decrease in fatalities for 2019. However, fatalities from truck crashes have continued to increase in California and across the U.S.
The fatality rate per miles driven saw a 14% year-over-year increase in March 2020, too, even though the total number of miles driven has declined 18.6% compared to March 2018. This is likely due to the stay-at-home orders that came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Various safety organizations are thinking of ways to improve safety in the trucking industry.
The American Transportation Research Institute is seeking to go beyond rates per billion miles traveled and find a better way to evaluate safety performance among truckers. A research project dedicated to this was approved for 2020. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it will no longer count crashes where the trucker was not at fault in the driver’s Safety Measurement System profile.
In addition, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is to conduct its Operation Safe Driver Week from July 12 to 18. It’s an annual event where law enforcement officers become ever more focused on unsafe behaviors among both commercial truck and passenger vehicle drivers. The 2020 event will be particularly concerned with speeding.
There are a significant number of ways that truckers can become negligent behind the wheel. Some examples include speeding, driving distracted and driving drowsy. When truck accidents are the result of negligence, a victim who was harmed through little or no fault of their own may have a personal injury case on their hands. With some legal assistance, they might be able to file a claim against the trucking company and be reimbursed for their medical expenses, vehicle repairs, missed wages and other losses.