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From 2001 to 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a large-truck crash causation study. In January 2020, the FMCSA announced that it would be conducting a new study on the same subject, one that would take into account all the changes that the trucking industry has undergone in the past two decades. Truckers in West Virginia may want to know more.

The FMCSA is seeking feedback on how best to proceed with the study. For instance, there’s a question of whether nationally representative sampling or convenience sampling would be better. But as for the factors that the FMCSA will be analyzing, these are more or less clear. One obvious factor is the explosion in distracted driving caused by new technology.

Calling and texting behind the wheel is just one form of distracted driving. Truckers can also be distracted by in-cab navigation systems, fleet management systems and even safety features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Researchers intend to finish with recommended strategies that can help prevent crashes and mitigate the severity of those that do occur.

The need for an updated study is an acute one. From 2009 to 2018, the number of fatal large-truck crashes jumped up 52.6%. A total of 4,415 such crashes arose in 2018.

Experts say that the majority of truck accidents are not caused by truckers. When they are, though, those who were injured might be able to file a claim against the trucking company. Whether the trucker fell asleep behind the wheel or neglected truck maintenance, victims may gather proof of negligence with legal assistance. A lawyer might also negotiate for a settlement covering all applicable losses, including medical bills and lost wages. If the other side refuses to pay out, the lawyer may prepare for litigation.