Fatal truck crashes are on the rise in Louisiana and throughout the United States, according to a new report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The report, which finalizes preliminary data released by the agency a year ago, shows that fatal large truck accidents increased by 3 percent between 2015 and 2016.
The FMCSA defines large trucks as those that weigh 10,000 pounds or more. There were 11.5 million such trucks registered in the U.S. in 2016, which is up from 11.2 million in 2015. According to the report, there were 4,213 fatal large truck accidents in 2016, compared with 4,074 in 2015. These accidents resulted in 4,317 deaths, compared to 4,094 the previous year. Of those deaths, 722 were truck drivers or passengers. In 2015, 665 truck drivers and passengers were killed. Despite the uptick in fatalities, the involvement rate for large trucks remained unchanged at 1.46 fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled.
The report stated that 61 percent of all fatal large truck accidents happened in rural areas and 27 percent took place on interstate highways. Meanwhile, 15 percent occurred on rural interstate highways, ending up in both categories. Injury accidents involving large trucks also increased in 2016. That year, there were 104,000 accidents that caused 145,000 injuries, compared to 83,000 accidents that caused 116,000 injuries in 2015.
When truck accidents are caused by truck driver negligence or defective truck components, injured victims can seek compensation for their losses. Possible damages paid out in such a suit include current and future medical expenses, wages lost during recovery, pain and suffering and property loss. Injured victims could begin the lawsuit process by contacting an attorney.