The number of fatal truck accidents in West Virginia and around the country rose dramatically between 2009 and 2018. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency tasked with regulating the trucking industry, but its last large commercial vehicle accident study was released more than 15 years ago. The FMCSA plans to conduct another large truck accident study due to changes in vehicle safety technology, road design, and driver behavior, and it made a formal proposal on Jan.14 asking for input about factors that should be taken into consideration.
The last truck accident causation study, which was conducted between 2001 and 2003, found that the overwhelming majority of commercial vehicle crashes where the truck was at fault were caused by a driver error of some kind. The new study could reveal whether or not semi-autonomous safety features like automatic braking systems and lane departure warnings are effective at eliminating driver mistakes and preventing accidents.
The FMCSA also plans to gather information on driver distractions such as texting. Cellphones were far less common when the agency last looked into the causes of truck accidents, and its report was published several years before the first smartphones were released. The FMCSA’s proposal was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 15. Trade organizations, advocacy groups and members of the public have until April 16 to submit comments and suggestions.
The victims of truck driver negligence often suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them unable to work and earn a living for weeks or months. When pursuing civil remedies on their behalf, experienced personal injury attorneys could seek damages to compensate them for their lost income as well as their medical bills and property damage. Attorneys may consult with doctors before calculating damages to ensure that the amount sought is sufficient to cover their client’s long-term medical expenses.