South Carolina motorists who are concerned about road safety should know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released data that shows the number of 2017 fatalities involving large trucks, or vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, rose by 9 percent. In comparison, the overall number of road fatalities fell by 1.8 percent during the same time period.
The number of people who died as a result of motor vehicle crashes in 2017 was 37,133, a drop from the 37,806 that was reported for 2016. Meanwhile, those who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in which large trucks were a factor totaled 4,761 in 2017, a number that represents an increase of 392 year-over-year.
According to the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, many of the fatalities were due in some part to trucks that weigh less than 26,000 pounds. Some of these trucks are not regulated by the FMCSA. The administrator also pointed out that the fatality rate involving trucks weighing between 10,000 and 14,000 doubled year-over-year.
For multi-vehicle crashes in which large trucks were a factor, the number of fatalities grew by 8.8 percent, resulting in 280 more being reported for 2017. The number of large truck occupants who were killed in single- or multi-vehicle crashes rose by 16 percent, resulting in an increase of 166 year-over-year.
A personal injury attorney may pursue financial compensation for wrongful death on behalf of surviving family members whose loved one was killed in an accident involving a large truck. A lawsuit may be filed against truck drivers or the applicable commercial transportation company.