Though the overall incidence of traffic fatalities in California and across the United States declined in 2017, large trucking accidents that caused fatalities increased. The number of large trucking fatalities increased by 9 percent in 2017 when compared to 2016. Overall traffic fatalities declined by 1.8 percent in the same time period.
The report was compiled from data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission. The data showed that 37,133 people were killed in overall traffic incidents in 2017 while 37,806 people were killed in 2016. Traffic fatalities due to large trucking accidents numbered 4,761 people, which showed an increase of 392 from the previous year.
Large trucks are defined as trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. The report notes that many of these fatalities involved trucks that weigh less than 26,000 pounds. Traffic fatalities from trucks that weighed between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds doubled from 2016 to 2017.
The data also showed that fatalities in other categories decreased from 2016 to 2017. Fatalities due to passenger vehicle crashes decreased by 1.6 percent, pedestrian fatalities decreased by 1.7 percent, fatalities in motorcycle accidents decreased by 3.2 percent, and cyclist fatalities decreased by 8.1 percent. The report notes that, additionally, speeding crashes that resulted in a fatality decreased by 5.6 percent. Some experts believe that new regulations and programs promoting safe driving are responsible for the decreased fatalities.
Truck accidents can cause life-changing injuries that require medical care and may result in loss of wages. Large truck accidents can also cause fatalities. If a driver operated a truck when they were too tired or distracted or the truck wasn't kept in good repair, the driver or trucking company may be at fault due to negligence. A lawyer may be able to look at the police report and driving logs to prove that either the driver or trucking company was negligent, making that party responsible for damages to the injured victims.