American motorists have plenty of reasons to worry when they get behind the wheel and set off on a journey of any length. In addition to poor road conditions, construction and inclement weather, motorists must remain constantly vigilant because others may be driving while drunk, distracted, fatigued or enraged. And unfortunately, a recent report indicates that motorists have one more reason to worry for their own safety when traveling.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of individuals injured in trucking accidents during 2012 jumped an astonishing 18 percent over the number of Americans injured in trucking accidents the previous year. In all, 104,000 individuals suffered injuries as a result of trucking accidents in 2012. In addition, fatalities caused by these accidents spiked four percent over 2011 numbers.
This significant spike in collision-related injuries should have truckers concerned, but this data should most alarm individuals who drive light vehicles. According to the NHTSA’s report, 73 percent of individuals injured in truck accidents during 2012 were occupants of vehicles other than large trucks. In a startling parallel, 73 percent of individuals killed in these kinds of accidents were occupants of vehicles other than large trucks as well.
Motorists can never control the behavior of other drivers. However, they can remain attentive and can make safe choices themselves. In light of this latest NHTSA data, it seems that motorists should take particular care to drive safely around large trucks. Following a large truck too closely, cutting one off or otherwise behaving unsafely around these vehicles cold prove to be deadly decisions.
Source: Findlaw Injured, “Truck Accident Injuries Up 18%: NHTSA Report,” Brett Snider, March 4, 2014