New estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released this month indicate that truck accident fatalities rose in 2019 by 1% over 2018. The figures were obtained via preliminary reports through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, or FARS, which provides both Congress and the general public with information about highway safety and fatal crashes.
It should be noted that FARS does not distinguish between crashes involving private owners (like the average owner of a large pickup truck) and commercial owners (like the average big-box truck or delivery vehicle).
Despite the small increase in fatalities involving large trucks, the new report does have some positives. The overall number of fatalities on the road have decreased by about 1.2% once all accident types are considered. This continues the overall downward trend seen since 2017. There are some regional differences, however. The southeast region, which includes Florida, actually saw an increase in overall fatalities by 2%.
So why are deadly traffic accidents decreasing while fatal truck crashes are increasing? It’s hard to say for certain. However, there are a lot more big trucks on the road today than ever before. Online ordering and delivery are very popular. That puts more trucks on the road and means that more drivers have to struggle to meet their delivery schedules.
Further, Americans typically enjoy bigger vehicles. All of those pickup truck accidents included in the study may be skewing some of the numbers.
If you’re involved in a commercial vehicle accident, you’ll probably end up facing months of recovery and lost wages. Find out how you can seek fair compensation for your losses.