Young & McCarthy LLP

FMCSA study shows CMV fatalities rose in 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has some data out on commercial motor vehicle fatalities in 2017 that should be of interest to drivers in Ohio. Among other matters, the FMCSA noted an increase in CMV crash fatalities from 3,193 in 2009 to 5,005 in 2017. Ohio saw a 1.2 percent increase, though that is not as dramatic as the increase in Florida (27 percent) or Georgia (19.7 percent).

Of those fatalities, 717 were CMV drivers and 124 were passengers of CMVs. This means that the remaining 4,164 fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles. The greatest factor in these fatal crashes, according to the FMCSA, was the failure to wear a seat belt. Of the truckers who were killed, 322 were found not to be wearing their seat belts.

Taking seat belt compliance rates into account (86 percent among CMV drivers and 90 percent for passenger vehicle drivers), researchers estimate that half of all drivers killed in CMV crashes neglected to buckle up. Seventeen percent of the fatal crashes had no known cause. Additionally, the FMCSA says that one-third of fatal crashes involved speeding.

Better education on the benefits of seat belts, as well as better enforcement of seat belt laws, seems to be in order. The FMCSA also expressed concern that so many CMV crashes take place in work zones.

Passenger vehicle occupants who get in a commercial vehicle accident can be left with severe injuries that require long-term medical care. If a crash victim was not to blame, or if they were only partially to blame, they could file a personal injury claim and possibly be reimbursed for their losses. It all starts with a lawyer's case evaluation. A victim can have their lawyer negotiate for a settlement on their behalf.

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