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2017 saw less fatal car crashes, more fatal truck crashes

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report has revealed a trend in fatal traffic crashes that should be of interest to drivers in California. It appears that while car crash fatalities went down in 2017, large truck accident deaths went up. In fact, they increased by 9 percent from 4,369 to 4,761.

Multi-vehicle crashes involving large trucks saw increased by 8.8 percent. The number of deadly accidents involving trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds doubled as well. For its report, the NHTSA defined large trucks as those with a GVWR exceeding 10,000 pounds.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that many of the trucks involved in the fatal crashes were below 26,000 pounds, so they may not have been under its regulations. While the number of car occupants and nonoccupants who died in truck crashes went up a combined 7.6 percent, the number of truck occupants who died saw an even greater increase of 16 percent.

By contrast, all other types of accidents saw a decrease in fatalities in 2017. The total number of deaths declined by 1.8 percent from 37,806 to 37,133. Motorcyclist, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths dropped by 3.1, 1.7 and 8.1 percent respectively while speeding-related deaths also saw a significant 5.6 percent decrease. Distracted-driving-related crashes, though behind 8.5 percent of all fatalities, went down.

Victims may sustain truck accident injuries either through their own fault or the trucker's. If the latter, victims may be able to file a personal injury claim against the trucking company and be compensated for medical bills, vehicle repair costs and the income they lost or will lose because of their injuries. Settlements for truck accidents can be potentially large, and trucking companies can be aggressive in denying payment, so victims will want the assistance of a Costa Mesa truck accident injury compensation law firm.

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