Many truckers in Wyoming and across the U.S. are getting into accidents through their own negligence. Experts say there is a multi-industry problem with poor habits such as distracted driving, drowsy driving and speeding. Many truckers feel urged to drive negligently because of the by-the-load incentives that they receive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released a report on the increasing rate of crashes involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks. In 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 8,206 dump truck accidents so severe that the vehicle had to be towed away. There were 838 such crashes among the concrete delivery trucks. These constitute a 9 and 9.6 percent increase, respectively, from 2015.

As for crashes resulting in injuries, these saw a 2.7 and 3.8 percent increase among dump trucks and concrete delivery trucks. Nearly 5,500 dump truck accidents involved injuries. There were two fewer fatal accidents among dump trucks (from 369 to 367). Fatal crashes rose from 33 to 38 with the ready-mix trucks.

Experts say that efforts to prevent truck accidents have stalled over the last decade. In the early 2000s, accident rates had been lowered largely through the efforts of federal regulators and insurance companies. There had also been improvements in technology as well as more effective driver safety campaigns.

When a trucking accident is caused by the trucker’s negligence, the victim may be awarded damages as long as their contributory fault does not exceed 50 percent. A victim can file their claim once they reach maximum medical improvement, but they may want legal assistance. A lawyer can be especially helpful during the negotiation stage. Before that, the lawyer could hire investigators and other experts to build up the case. If a fair settlement cannot be agreed on, the lawyer can litigate.