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Fatal truck accidents rise as fatal car accidents fall

Trucks have always been dangerous on the road. And really, any vehicle has the potential to be dangerous — but with trucks, the threat is more unique than other vehicles. They are so big and powerful, not to mention a bit hard to control, that when they are involved in a wreck, the results are usually disastrous.

Here’s the kicker: the number of fatal truck accidents in the United States has been increasing at an alarming rate, and few people seem to be taking notice. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of fatal truck accidents increased by 18 percent from 2009 to 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) piles more misery on top of that stat, noting that 3,921 people died and 104,000 people were injured in truck accidents in 2012.

But these shocking stats don’t entirely capture the truly disturbing part about this rise in fatal trucking accidents: other motor vehicle accident factors have been in decline.

As examples of this, fatal car accidents have dropped 1.74 percent from 2009 to 2012, and during the same time frame, average distance traveled for trucks has dropped 2.67 percent.

Clearly more needs to be done to hold trucking companies and truck drivers accountable for their safety requirements, and new, or bolstered, rules may need to be put in place to curb this trend. There is no reason for truck accidents to be on the rise during an era where other accidents and accident elements are in decline.

Source: NBC News, “Truck Accidents Surge, But There’s No National Outcry,” Eamon Javers and Jennifer Schlesinger, July 30, 2014

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