Truck accident fatalities drop for the first time in years

Due to their large size and heavy loads, trucks can cause a great deal of damage and injury in a Pittsburgh accident. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently reported that the number of fatalities caused by collisions with large trucks has decreased nationwide. In 2014, the number of truck accident deaths dropped 5 percent, making the total number of truck accident fatalities for 2014 just over 3,900.

According to the data provided by DOT, the number of truck accident deaths has decreased over 25 percent since 2004. Experts say that these statistics indicate a trend toward fewer fatal truck accidents on the roadways.

From 1980 to 2006, the number of trucks on the roads increased significantly, thereby nearly doubling the mileage traveled by trucks. After hitting a mileage peak of over 310 million miles in 2008, truck mileage has gone up and down. In 2014, the number of miles traveled by trucks was 279.1 million.

While the number of truck accident fatalities has decreased, the number of injuries has unfortunately increased. The number of people injured in large truck accidents rose 16.8 percent, for a total of 111,000 injuries in 2014.

New technology and legislative changes may help save lives and prevent some of these injuries. Many trucks and passenger vehicles now come with new crash avoidance technology to help prevent at least some of these accidents.

The American Trucking Association has also suggested lowering the truck speed limits to 65 miles per hour. A national mandate to require the use of electronic devices to manually limit truck speeds may also help. So much progress has already been made, but there is still a lot to do when it comes to saving the lives of motorists.

Source: The Journal of Commerce, “US truck crash fatalities drop, reversing trend, DOT says,” William B. Cassidy, April 19, 2016