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Feds Record 13% Increase in Trucking Accident Deaths in 2021

2021 was a deadly year for truckers and other persons involved in accidents with large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers.  The latest data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reflected a 13% increase in the number of deaths in accidents involving large trucks last year, compared to 2020.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its latest traffic crash data for 2021, and the figures are bleak.  Overall, traffic fatalities were up by as much as 10.5% from 2020.  Interestingly, many of these fatal accidents occurred during the day time and on rural or artery roads.  Overall, these were the highest traffic accident death numbers on record since 2005.  Many in the industry and in the federal administration believe that these rates are at “crisis levels”.

The news on the trucking safety front was not much better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considered any commercial truck weighing at or above 10,000 pounds as a large truck for the purposes of data collection.  The figures included not just smaller trucks, but also non-commercial trucks.  There were a total of 5,601 deaths involving truck accidents in 2021, compared to a total of 4,965 accident deaths the previous year, a significant 13 percent increase.  Increases in deaths in crashes involving at least one truck were recorded in all months, except January, February and October of last year.

These stats should be raising alarm bells, and clearly underscore the need for federal transportation agencies to take up matters related to trucking safety, and indeed all types of traffic safety. Trucking safety groups and safety advocates are calling on the federal administration to move forward quickly on approving a number of pending regulations, including an important one that would require the mandatory installation of speed limiters on all commercial trucks.  If passed, this rule would significantly lower the risk of accidents involving speeding truck drivers. The approval of other pending regulations involving the use of automatic braking systems as well as driver assistance systems on trucks must also be expedited.

This rise in truck accident deaths is only mirroring a nationwide trend involving significant spikes in motor vehicle accident deaths recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  However, the rise in fatal truck accidents is especially alarming because these crashes can have devastating consequences, not just in terms of damage to property, but also the kind of catastrophic injuries that are caused in these accidents.

The Atlanta truck accident attorneys at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in truck accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across highways in Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a truck accident, talk to an attorney at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.  You might qualify for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other damages. A trucking accident claim can help you hold not just the truck driver, but also the trucking company, shipper, freight company and a number of other parties liable in your claim. Talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your case.


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