Fatal crashes involving commercial trucks are on the rise across America. A new study seeks to examine the primary causes of these crashes to save more lives. According to CDLLife, the number of deaths resulting from commercial truck wrecks rose 5.7% between 2016 and 2018, indicating a need for more industry oversight and enhanced safety measures.
Also troubling is the fact that, in 2018, the number of fatal truck crashes increased by 0.9%, while fatal crashes, in general, decreased by 2.4% that year. These numbers are particularly noteworthy given that 2018 marked the first full year an Electronic Logging Device mandate took effect, which sought to make the trucking industry safer for drivers by requiring them to track, manage and share exactly when and where they were on duty.
The Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study
Because of the recent uptick in commercial truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is initiating what it calls a Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study. The administration hopes that, by determining the top causes of semi-truck crashes, it should be able to better design and implement new initiates to help prevent them.
The study has several other objectives, as well. By examining common factors in truck crashes, it seeks to gather more information about emerging industry trends. It also seeks to identify more causes and contributing factors in truck crashes, both with regard to injuries and fatalities and property damage.
Previous study findings
A similar study of tractor-trailer crashes that spanned 2001 until 2003 sought to identify factors that were causing the majority of truck crashes during that time. Results from that particular study revealed that, in the vast majority of truck crashes, a truck driver’s actions, or inactions, became a key contributor to the crash.
Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than smaller passenger vehicles, so they present a threat to all motorists, even when the people driving them are conscientious and responsible.