Overall, the roads throughout Wyoming and the rest of the country are becoming safer. However, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests fatalities involving large trucks are on the rise. According to NHTSA figures, vehicle traffic fatalities decreased by nearly 2 percent in 2017. Fatal collisions with larger vehicles, on the other hand, spiked by nearly 10 percent over the prior year.
While about 37,800 people were killed in vehicle crashes in 2016, this figure dropped to approximately 37,100 in 2017. The same year also saw fewer speeding-related, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. Less encouraging, however, is the fact that more than 4,700 people perished in large vehicle trucking accidents in 2017. This was nearly 400 more fatalities than the previous year. For the purposes of the report, "large vehicles" are defined as trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds. Multi-vehicle crashes with large trucks involved also increased by almost 9 percent.
Additionally, NHTSA data showed a 16 percent increase in the deaths of large truck occupants. An administrator from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration noted that most fatalities involved trucks weighing less than 26,000 pounds. Some vehicles within this weight range may not be regulated by the FMCSA, the administrator said. He further added that the number of deaths involving vehicles between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds doubled in a comparison of year-over-year data.
Whether serious injuries or fatalities are involved in a truck-related crash, a personal injury lawyer can help victims or survivors explore their legal options, especially if driver negligence is suspected. During the investigation phase, an attorney may look at digital logs of driving hours and vehicle inspection and maintenance records to identify possible irregularities or violations of industry regulations. This information is sometimes used to determine if some type of negligence might have been involved.