Montana residents are accustomed to seeing large trucks on the state roadways. Although these vehicles are large, travel at great speeds and can be somewhat intimidating when sharing the road with them, for the most part, truckers operate their rigs safely and within the law.
However, truck accidents still happen and with them come serious injuries and fatalities. Drivers are wise to be as cautious as possible. Part of that is understanding the reasons why truck crashes occur as well as their frequency. After a collision, having comprehensive and aggressive help can be necessary to know what to do in the aftermath.
13% increase in fatal truck crashes from 2020 to 2021
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its preliminary data for road safety and stated that trucks were involved in 13% more fatalities in 2021 than they were in 2020. Overall, there were 5,601 in 2021 vs. 4,965 the prior year. This reverses a positive trend in which truck crash fatalities had been on the decline. Researchers have labeled it a “crisis.”
Total auto accident fatalities almost reached 43,000. This was more than 10% higher than in 2020 and the worst total in 16 years. Since the NHTSA began tracking fatalities, this was the highest increase it has ever seen. People in passenger vehicles who were involved in a truck accident were prone to suffering fatal injuries by a wide margin as 97% of deaths involved them.
The Truck Safety Coalition has advocated for trucks to have automatic bakes and driver assistance technology. It also wants there to be a rule that trucks have a speed limiter. Another goal is to have trucks increase the minimum amount of insurance required to operate. It is believed that the spike in road danger has been due to truckers speeding, driving while distracted and being under the influence.
People must know their options after a truck accident
Truck accidents happen without warning and people are suddenly confronted with massive medical costs, obstacles to living the life they did before, the need for help to perform basic tasks and potentially permanent damage. It is even worse if there is a fatality. After an accident, people may be overwhelmed and not know what they should do. There are many options to consider and having assistance with determining a path forward is imperative. Discussing their situation with experienced and caring professionals can help.