Truck accidents are one of the most devastating types of motor vehicle accidents that can happen on the road. Truck accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities. For this reason, New Jersey officials, as well as federal agencies, are always looking for ways to reduce such accidents. Recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, reveal that despite their efforts, the number of people who died in accidents involving large trucks still increased slightly from 2012 to 2013, the most recent full year for which the NHTSA has released data.

The NHTSA reported in December of 2014 that large truck accident fatalities increased by 0.5 percent from 2012 to 2013. Fatalities to occupants of large trucks and occupants of the other vehicles involved in large-truck collisions decreased by less than one percent. Deaths of non-occupants (including pedestrians and bicyclists), however, increased by 13 percent. Almost 4,000 total deaths were attributed to large truck accidents in 2013.

The data also seems to point to drunk driving as a contributing factor in the accidents. While alcohol-related deaths decreased for other motor vehicles, they increased by 18 percent when it came to large trucks. This increase represents 14 additional large truck drunk-driving deaths in 2013 over 2012.

Although both New Jersey and the federal government are leaving no stone unturned when trying to prevent truck accidents, truck companies and drivers should also do their part. Truck companies should follow federal trucking regulations and properly train their drivers to recognize potentially dangerous behavior and situations. Otherwise injured victims, and the families of those who are killed, can hold them legally responsible for their negligence if an accident occurs.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “2013 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview,” accessed on Dec. 24, 2014