Truck accidents that cause injuries and even deaths are on the rise in West Virginia and across the country, according to statistics released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While the number of trucks involved in deadly accidents increased by 3 percent from the year before, the total number of deaths saw an even larger increase, 6 percent. These figures reflect the fact that several of the most serious accidents took multiple lives.
In 2016, 4,317 people were killed in truck accidents on American roadways, an increase of over 220 from the 4,094 people killed the previous year in crashes that involved large trucks or buses. This increase is not new; on the contrary, it reflects the continuation of a documented rise in the number and the severity of deadly truck collisions. While deaths due to trucking accidents decreased by 34 percent between 2005 and 2009, most of that significant improvement has been wiped away in recent years. Between 2009 and 2016, fatalities increased by 28 percent, a trend that has continued to rise year over year.
In addition, while fatal crashes may be among the most severe, they are a small minority of all of the motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks and buses. Many more crashes lead to personal injuries, which can often be severe and lasting. These numbers are also on the rise. In 2016, 145,000 people were hurt in 104,000 crashes that involved large trucks. This was a major jump from the 2015 numbers, when 116,000 people were injured in 83,000 crashes.
Truck accidents can have lifelong effects on their victims, and accident injuries can be severe and disabling. People who have been injured in a trucking crash through no fault of their own might benefit from working with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may help accident victims to pursue the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.