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Trucking Fatalities Reach Highest Level in 30 years

Trucker deaths continue to rise and are at their highest level in more than 30 years, according to data released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The federal agency said 885 large truck occupants died in 2018. That’s an increase of almost 1 percent compared to the prior year. It is the highest since 1988 when 911 occupants of large trucks died.

Looking beyond truckers, overall deaths involving crashes with large trucks also continue to rise. The agency said 4,678 people died in collisions with large trucks last year. That’s up by almost 1 percent from the 4,369 that died in 2017.

Fatalities involving large trucks increased for the fourth consecutive year, the NHTSA said. And pedestrians killed in crashes involving large trucks increased by 13 percent last year.

“The numbers are even more reason that we shouldn’t head in the direction of loosening safety rules proven to work to make trucking safer, and that help reduce the risks for people who share the road with trucks,” said Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


The American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry’s largest trade group, said the NHTSA figures “alone provide an incomplete picture of the safety of our highways.” The trade group said the data does not do account for how many vehicles drove on U.S. roads in 2018 and how many miles they traveled.

The trade group wants to see the federal government launch a new “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” to update 2006’s examination of truck crashes. That study, the ATA said, found that road users other than truckers cause the majority of crashes with big vehicles.

“ATA believes safety is of paramount importance and that’s why we’re proud to represent an industry that is committed to reducing highway fatalities by investing nearly $10 billion annually in technology and training, as well as promoting safe and responsible behavior on the roads by all motorists,” the trade group said.

Increasing deaths involving crashes in large trucks runs counter to a national trend of improved Highway safety in recent years.


Accidents involving large commercial trucks are among the most severe in Florida and across the entire United States so we have truck accident attorneys that specialize in these laws. Collisions involving semi trucks, tractor-trailers, fuel tankers, and other massive trucks can result in serious injuries for victims, especially if the collision was between a truck and motorcyclists or pedestrians. Despite the many laws resulting commercial driving, many truck operators in Florida ignore these rules and commit traffic violations that can cost an innocent victim their life. Truck drivers often speed in order to arrive at their destinations on time and pay no mind to other motorists on the roadways. Other times, truck drivers work extended shifts and become fatigued or fall asleep at the wheel, crashing into other cars or pedestrians. There are even times when Florida truck drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our Florida truck accident lawyers will protect your rights.

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