New FMCSA Truck Accident Causation Study to Begin

rhys-moult-7eaFIKeo1MQ-unsplash-copy-300x221If you or someone you love got hurt in a truck accident in Carlsbad, it is extremely important to know about your options for filing a claim and proving that the trucking company is responsible for your injuries. Even in cases in which a truck driver’s error caused the collision, as is true in many trucking collisions, plaintiffs will want to learn more about causation and liability to determine whether the trucking company itself or the owner of the truck may also bear responsibility for the crash. Generally speaking, truck companies have much deeper pockets than truck drivers themselves, and thus they may be able to provide an injured plaintiff or her family with full compensation for losses. Yet first, a plaintiff will need to prove causation and liability. 

What causes most truck accidents? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study about trucking accident causation more than 15 years ago. According to a recent report in Transport Topics, the FMCSA has plans to conduct a new crash causation study that will help to reveal the extent to which issues like smartphone usage and distracted driving play a role in truck collisions.

Details of the FMCSA Planned Study

On January 14, 2020, the FMCSA announced that it had plans to conduct a new truck crash causation study and asked for public comment “on how best to design and conduct a major study to identify factors contributing to all large-truck fatal, injury, and tow-away crashes.” The new study is designed to replace the initial study, and it will be the backbone for much of the policy work done by the FMCSA regarding trucking accidents and preventive measures.

The new study will include certain new methodologies, and the FMCSA has asked for public comment concerning methods it should use to “address the use of onboard electronic systems that can generate information about speeding, lane departure, and hard braking.” The FMCSA also hopes that the study will provide it with new information regarding the frequency and severity of large truck crashes, and steps that can be taken to reduce both the severity of collisions in the future and their overall number.

Part of the reason for the new study is that the last decade has seen a rise in serious and deadly truck crashes. The initial FMCSA study was conducted in 2003, and afterward, the rate of fatal trucking collisions largely decreased until 2009. However, since 2009, the annual rate of fatal truck crashes has increased, particularly in the last few years.

Learning More About Deadly Truck Accidents

When large trucks, such as 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, are involved in collisions with passenger vehicles, the occupants of those smaller passenger vehicles often sustain severe and deadly injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 4,138 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2018.

Of those who died in trucking accidents in 2018, about 67% were occupants of passenger vehicles, while about 15% were motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. To put those numbers another way, about 83% of all fatalities in large truck accidents involve people who were not in the large truck itself.

Contact a Carlsbad Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about truck accidents or filing a claim for compensation, an experienced Carlsbad, CA truck accident attorney can help with your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information.


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